US red meat exports boost trade balance

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DENVER – The US balance of trade received a $4.24 billion boost, thanks to the red meat industry in 2010, according to statistics released by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Record-high export values for beef ($4.08 billion) and the second-highest total on record for pork ($4.78 billion) fueled the trade surplus.

In 2010, the US beef industry exported 2.35 billion lbs. valued at $4.08 billion, which are increases of 19% in volume and 32% in value over 2009. Beef exports exceeded imports by 605.1 million lbs. and $1.155 billion in value.

US pork exports increased 3% in volume to 4.23 billion lbs. and 10% in value to $4.78 billion versus 2009 totals. Those exports exceeded imports by 3.4 billion lbs. and $3.58 billion in value.

Only US lamb had an export deficit. Exports of 23.5 million lbs. valued at $20.6 million compared with imports of 126.2 million lbs. valued at $490 million.

In 2010, total US red meat exports were valued at $8.88 billion, 19.4% higher than the previous year and 4% higher than the previous record set in 2008.

The $8.88 billion in exports supports an estimated 107,000 US jobs, according to US Department of Agriculture calculations, with every billion dollars in US agricultural exports supporting approximately 12,000 American jobs.


Of USMEF’s $35.3 million budget, just more than half ($18.4 million) came from USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, with the balance coming in the form of support from the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries and USMEF members. An additional $24.3 million was contributed by international third-party organizations that USMEF partners with in its market development activities.

For every $1 expended by government and industry on market development, US food and agricultural exports increased by $35, a recent independent study conducted by IHS Global Insight Inc., for USDA found. Based on that formula, the $59.6 million USMEF drew from all of its funding sources in 2010 created a $2.1 billion benefit for US red meat exports.
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