The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says based on USDA data, U.S. pork exports in February were up 9% in volume compared to year-ago, while beef exports were 3% lower. The group estimates pork exports in terms of value were up 21% from year-ago, while beef exports in terms of value were up 10%.
For the first two months of the year, pork exports totaled 399,086 metric tons (MT) valued at $1.09 billion – increases of 18% and 31%, respectively. This is the first time U.S. pork export value has reached the $1 billion mark after only two months, notes USMEF. During the same period, beef exports totaled 176,585 MT (2% lower) valued at $815 million, which is 12% higher than the same period last year.
"Export results were quite solid, especially considering the impact of market access issues in some destinations, particularly Taiwan and Southeast Asia," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "We continue to expand the presence of U.S. pork in all key destinations - especially in North Asia and in Western Hemisphere markets. In the beef complex, export volume may be struggling somewhat due to price, but we are having great success directing beef cuts to the markets that value them most. This is keeping beef export value very strong – well ahead of the record pace established last year."
Juli says: For 2012, USDA currently projects beef exports to be down 2.3% from last year, while pork exports are expected to be 2.1% higher.