Feb. US beef, pork exports grow in volume, value

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DENVER – During February, the positive trend for US beef and pork exports continued, according to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). An increasingly large portion of total US production is going to international customers while returning more revenue to America’s red meat industry.

Twenty-seven percent of US pork production was sold outside of the US in February with the incremental value of exports reaching $51.48 per head – versus 25.2 percent and $43.81 last year. Total pork exports increased 15 percent in value and 8 percent in volume versus February 2010 totals.

US beef exports in February accounted for 12.9 percent of total production versus 10.6 percentlast year at this time, and the incremental value of beef exports per head of fed slaughter reached $182.12, compared to $126.50 last year. Total beef exports for the month increased 47.2 percentin value and 25%in volume over year-ago levels.

US pork exports in February totaled 172,022 metric tons valued at $434.4 million. For the first two months of 2011, those totals are 337,160 metric tons valued at $831.3 million, increases of 11 percentin volume and 17 percent in value. Mexico, Japan, the Hong Kong/China region, South Korea and Canada remain the top five export markets.

So far this year, the strength of US pork exports was seen across the board, with only two major markets (Mexico and the ASEAN region) showing any decreases from last year. In Japan, the leading value market for US pork, exports were up 19 percent in volume and 17 percent in value for the first two months of 2011 to 74,498 metric tons valued at $280.3 million. Japanese import data also show the US market share increased to 45.5 percent of all imported pork – up from 43.2 percent a year ago.

In Mexico – the top export market in volume – the modest 5 percent decline in export volume and 3 percentslip in value from year-ago levels is understandable as higher US pork prices limit growth potential, USMEF said.

South Korea was the growth leader for US pork exports in February, which purchased a record 19,532 metric tons valued at $49.2 million.

For the first two months of 2011, every significant US beef export market showed growth versus 2010 levels. Exports in February reached 89,787 metric tons valued at $371.7 million. For the first two months of 2011, those totals are 179,460 metric tons valued at $727.3 million, increases of 24 percent in volume and 45 percent in value. Mexico, South Korea, Canada, the Middle East and Japan are the top five export markets.

Mexico leads the way in volume and value, importing 40,542 metric tons valued at $151.6 million, increases of 3 percent in volume and 22 percent in value over last year as this key market continues its rebound from the global economic slump that affected it more profoundly and for a longer period than many nations.

South Korean consumers boosted their purchases of US beef by 121 percent in volume and 142 percent in value for the first two months of 2011, reaching 28,150 metric tons valued at $120.2 million.
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