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U.S. Red Meat Exports Continue Positive Trend

November 16, 2010

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation

The global appetite for U.S. beef and pork continued to grow in September, with American red meat exports maintaining solid momentum through the first nine months of 2010, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports continued their torrid pace in September with a 30.2 percent jump in value over year-ago levels while volume climbed 16.6 percent.  For the month, the U.S. exported 86,182 metric tons of beef valued at $339.3 million.  For the year, beef exports are up 16 percent in volume and 27 percent in value to 766,791 metric tons valued at $2.9 billion.

The pork export story also is positive.  For September, the value of pork exports climbed 10 percent over 2009 totals to $382.6 million even though the volume of exports slipped 3.6 percent to 148,416 metric tons.  Over the first nine months of the year, export volume is up 2 percent to 1,392,754 metric tons valued at $3.5 billion - a 9 percent hike in value over 2009.

"We are finding a very positive and receptive audience for U.S. red meat in the international market," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.  "The challenge is to sustain this aggressive growth pace and continue to diversify our markets.

"To that end, USMEF has been working closely with the exporting community to identify new opportunities in the global marketplace - whether it be new niches within existing markets or entirely new regions - to ensure that exports continue to grow and producers continue to see a healthy return," Seng added.

The impact of exports
The value of beef exports in September equated to $151 per head of steer and heifer slaughtered and accounted for 11 percent of total U.S. production.  This compares to $118.17 per head in September of 2009 when exports were 9.5 percent of total production.  For the first nine months of 2010, the value of exports per head is $145.07 per head, which is $8.60 more than values in 2003, prior to the discovery of BSE in the United States.

Pork exports accounted for 22 percent of production and $41.33 per head value in September compared to 21 percent and $35.30 last year.  Year-to-date, pork exports account for 23.7 percent of production and $43.62 per head value, which is ahead of the $42.30 per head total set in the record export year of 2008.

Beef surge continues
Virtually every major U.S. beef export market is showing double-digit growth this year, and September continued that trend.  Only Mexico, which continues to struggle with economic woes and a weak peso, is behind 2009 levels.

For the year, the top five beef export markets in terms of value remain Mexico, Canada, Japan, the ASEAN region and South Korea.  During September, the top five markets were Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East - the latter led by Egypt.

Beef exports to Canada in September jumped 8.4 percent in value to $65.6 million, slightly surpassing exports to Mexico that were valued at $63.4 million, a 14.2 percent decline from last year.  Japan was third with beef exports valued at $58.9 million, a 52 percent spike.

The trend in South Korea is even more promising with September exports up a startling 250 percent to $38.4 million while the Middle East showed a 93 percent hike for the month, registering at $22.5 million.

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RELATED TOPICS: Beef, Hogs, Livestock, Exports

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