Beef, Pork Exports Set Records in 2012

February 11, 2013 07:26 AM

According to USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), U.S. pork exports set new volume and value records in 2012, with beef exports a new high in term of value.

Pork exports in 2012 of 2.26 MMT were up fractionally from the previous year's record and were valued at $6.3 billion, which is a 3.5% increase over the prior year’s record. The per-head export value of U.S. Pork exports set another record in 2012, reaching $55.87, up 1% from 2011. For the year, exports accounted for 27% of total pork production and 23.4% of pork muscle cut production versus 27.5% and 23%, respectively, in 2011.

USMEF says the value of beef exports for the year rose 2% to a record-high $5.51 billion on 12% lower volumes (1.13 MMT). The per-head export value for beef hit $216.73, a $10.36 increase over 2011. Contributing to that was a new monthly record value of $242.65 set in December. For the year, U.S. beef exports accounted for 12.7% of total beef production and 9.8% of muscle cut production. This compares to 14.2% and 11%, respectively, in 2011.

In addition to the new standards noted above, one-year export records were set in several key export markets:


  • Mexico: 600,949 MT (12% increase) valued at $1.126 billion (8% increase)
  • Canada: 235,604 MT (14% increase) valued at $855.7 million (16% increase)
  • Central/South America: 90,897 MT (26% increase) valued at $227.9 million (22% increase)
  • Australia/New Zealand: 76,801 MT (9% increase) valued at $236.1 million (5%b increase)



  • Russia: 80,408 MT (10% increase) valued at $307.5 million (20% increase)
  • Hong Kong: 65,033 MT (28% increase) valued at $339.5 million (43% increase)
  • Central/South America: 33,891 MT (31% increase) valued at $134.1 million (57% increase)
  • Canada: $1.177 billion (14% value increase even though volume dipped 6% to 180,015 MT)


Looking ahead to 2013, the USMEF is optimistic of growth. Their projection for pork calls for steady to slight growth, with exports likely to still exceed 2.2 MMT valued at more than $6 billion with key risk factors including Russia and domestic production in China. On the bullish side, U.S. Pork is an extremely versatile, high quality protein at a great value that will gain market share in key export markets. Continued growth to top volume market Mexico is also expected to boost the bottom line, says the group.


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