(IARN) U.S. beef exports to Mexico are off to a strong start in 2023, with shipments through February climbing 15% from a year ago in volume (just over 33,000 metric tons) and 13% higher in value ($186.3 million). U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said this is partly driven by the post-COVID recovery in Mexico’s restaurant and hospitality sectors, which is much further advanced than it was a year ago.
“We’re off to a very good start through two months in 2023. Beef exports from the U.S. are up 15% versus last year,” Halstrom said. “And I think there’s a couple of factors at work here. You have a definite rebound in the foodservice industry post COVID. We realized some of that rebound in 2022, but we’ll realize the rest of that rebound here in 2023. So having a food service sector, tourism, hotels, business hotels, that are occupied. Another thing that’s positive for Mexico is their competitiveness globally. While we’ve talked a lot about having a strong U.S. dollar in Asia, we have a little bit of the opposite in Mexico. So common cuts like Chuck rolls, for example, the Mexican market might be a little more competitive than it has in the past vis-à-vis some of our export opportunities into the Asian market. So this is a positive as well for U.S. beef. The chuck and the shoulder clod, for example, it’s a big marker for shoulder clods. But the other primal that’s really dependent upon Mexico from a value standpoint is the round: insides, outsides, knuckles.”
Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, said that his team is focused on showcasing alternative, affordable cuts from the chuck and round in ways that appeal to consumers in different regions of Mexico.
“Great dynamics in the west coast of the country using the chucks. Central part of Mexico using the different rounds, especially the gooseneck, especially the bottom round. So, every region in the country may be using different types of primals, but at the end of the day, that is what we’re here for, to explore and develop new alternatives in order to give a better value for the cut out. Not only the middle meats, I mean, I know everybody likes the tomahawk and the ribeye and all those kinds of cuts. But how can we substitute a nice steak, a nice barbecue using the chuck on a day-to-day basis? How can we give more value to the rounds?”