The UK exported £19 million worth of red meat to the United States in the first eight months of the year – with beef making up over a quarter of the shipments.
According to the latest data from HMRC, 1,211 tonnes of beef was exported to America between January and August of this year.
This was worth over £5m to the sector, according to the AHDB which has analysed the figures, marking a successful first year since the ban on UK beef was lifted.
Market access was granted in March 2020, following the US’s longstanding ban on UK beef – introduced in the wake of the BSE outbreak in 1996.
Between January and August of this year, over 4,600 tonnes of pig meat was exported to the US – up nearly 10 percent on last year, worth £14 million to the pork sector.
These strong figures follow news that a fourth site in the UK, Foyle Food Group Melton Mowbray, has been listed to export beef with immediate effect to the US.
AHDB senior export manager for the Americas, Susana Morris said it was 'very encouraging' to see more than £5m worth of beef sent to the US in less than a year since gaining market access.
“America is proving to be an attractive market for our beef as the country is experiencing high domestic consumption, rising demand from international customers and stronger demand from retail and foodservice as well as lower stocks in cold storage."
She added: “There is also strong demand for meat in the US due in part to extra household savings – all of which presents an opportunity for us to take a larger slice of the market and grow our shipments even further."
Pork prices in the US were also high compared to a year ago due to tight supplies and a lack of market-ready pigs and tighter production schedules, Ms Morris said, adding that strong demand had led to lower stocks in cold storage.
“This combined with the suspension of the 25 percent tariff earlier this year has given our exporters a fantastic boost and we look forward to seeing these figures increase.”
Exports of both pork and beef have grown in other North American markets also this year, HMRC's trade figures show.
In Canada, pork shipments are up 54 percent to 1,183 tonnes, worth £5.4 million, while beef shipments reached 1,341 tonnes, valued at £5.2 million.