According to data from USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), record-setting pork exports to China and a continued rebound of beef exports to Mexico highlight September global meat trade. Both pork and beef exports are on a record-setting pace in terms of value. In September, pork exports were up 23.6% in volume and 40.5% in value from last year while beef exports rose 27.3% in volume and 35.9% in value.
"This year has presented opportunities for the U.S. red meat industry to expand exports, and the industry has worked aggressively to capitalize on those opportunities," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "The premiums that international buyers pay for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are critical to the bottom line of U.S. producers."
On the pork side of the industry, September exports equated to 26% of total U.S. pork and pork variety meat production and those exports were valued at $56 per head – solid increases from September 2010 totals of 22% of production and $40.87 per head. For beef, September exports accounted for 14.4% of total beef and beef variety meat production and $212.64 in value per head of fed cattle, up from 11% of production and $151 in value per head last year.
For the month, the U.S. exported 183,495 metric tons of pork valued at $537.6 million, which trails only March of 2011 as the second-highest monthly export value on record. For the year, the U.S. has exported more than 1.6 million metric tons (MMT) of pork valued at nearly $4.4 billion, increases of 16% and 25%, respectively, over the first nine months of 2010.
Pork exports were led by China/Hong Kong, which bought 47,180 metric tons (MT) of product, up 64% from last year. The 39,020 MT purchased by China was a new monthly record, up 92% from last year. The value of the exports to China/Hong Kong was $101.7 million, a 129% jump from last year.
U.S. beef exports hit 109,708 MT, valued at $461 million in September. For the year, exports stand at 967,388 MT valued at $4 billion, increases of 26% and 39%, respectively, over the first nine months of 2010. Beef exports were paced by Mexico, which purchased 22,054 MT valued at $86.8 million, up 14% and 37%, respectively, from September of 2010.