July US beef, pork exports continue to climb

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DENVER – Based on statistics released by US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), July was another very strong month for US beef and pork exports. Both are on track to set new export value records in 2011 and to eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time.

Beef exports set a new value record in July of $513.1 million on a volume of 120,424 metric tons. For the first seven months of the year, exports totaled 741,275 metric tons valued at nearly $3.1 billion – an increase of 26 percent in volume and 40 percent in value over last year’s pace. July exports equated to 16.3 percent of total US production with a value of $236.88 per head of fed slaughter. This compared to 12 percent and $159.34 per head last July. For the year, beef exports equated to 14.2 percent of production with a value of $198.67 per head of fed slaughter.

July pork exports totaled 169,547 metric tons valued at $480.06 million – an increase of 16 percent in volume and 24 percent in value. This pushed the 2011 total to 1.25 million metric tons valued at $3.3 billion – increases of 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over last year. July exports equated to 28.7 percent of production with a value of $59.35 per head, compared to 23.8 percent and $45.95 in July 2010. For the year, pork exports equated to 27.3 percent of production with a per head value of $53.63.

Beef exports to Canada had set a new value record in June of nearly $97 million, but that record was quickly eclipsed by a July total of $131.3 million. This performance pushed Canada into the No. 1 position for 2011 US beef exports in terms of value at $595.2 million – an increase of 54 percent over last year – on a volume of 110,712 metric tons (up 32 percent).
Japan was July’s second-largest market for beef export value at $86.6 million, and ranks a strong third for the year at $502.9 million – a 50 percent increase over the first seven months of 2010.

July exports to South Korea slowed from the torrid pace established earlier in the year, reaching a volume of 11,327 metric tons valued at $50.3 million. This is about 12 percent lower in volume and 23 percent lower in value than July 2010. For the year, however, exports to Korea were still 55 percent higher in volume (98,217 metric tons) and 48 percent higher in value ($431.1 million) than a year ago, making Korea the third-largest market in terms of volume and fourth-largest in value.

US pork exports to Japan, with a July performance of $157.6 million, shot past the $1 billion mark for the seventh consecutive year. Coming off a record value year of more than $1.6 billion in 2010, exports to Japan were up 11 percent in volume through July at 287,466 metric tons and up 14 percent in value at just over $1.1 billion.

Exports to South Korea continued to surge as a wider range of US pork cuts continue to find success in Korea’s retail and foodservice sectors. Exports were up 144 percent in volume through July at 136,359 metric tons and nearly tripled in value to $343.4 million.

July lamb exports nearly tripled in volume (2,037 metric tons) over last year and increased 83 percent in value to just over $3 million. For the year, export volume is up 72 percent to 11,432 metric tons and value is up 37 percent to $18.5 million.
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