DENVER – Based on results compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), October was a very strong month for US red-meat exports. Beef exports achieved their second-highest value of the year at $375.3 million (trailing June's $377.6 million), surpassing the September total by 11% and beating October 2009 by 37%.

Pork-export value was the third-highest of the year at $407.8 million -- trailing only May ($419.3 million) and June ($425.3 million). The October value total was 7% higher than September and 9% higher than October 2009.

The strong showing in October pushed 2010 beef export value to $3.28 billion, surpassing the January-October 2003 total of $3.26 billion. Beef-export value finished 2003 with an all-time, single-year record total of $3.86 billion. Compared to 2009, beef export value is up by 28%. In terms of volume, beef exports reached 863,046 metric tons for the year, outpacing 2009 by 16%. This year's ratio of total US production exported is 11.4% , while the value per steer and heifer slaughtered is $147.62. The per-head value in October actually reached $170.00 – nearly $50 higher than October 2009.

"With two months of results still to come, we anticipate the possibility of setting a new export value record this year," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.

US beef has achieved a significant increase in virtually every major destination except for Mexico this year, and even that market is improving. While exports to Mexico are down for the year, October totals were up 5% in volume (22,194 metric tons) and 10% in value ($71.9 million) over October 2009.

"The turnaround for US beef in Korea has been remarkable, and USMEF remains committed to sustaining the momentum with aggressive marketing efforts, including the recent launch of phase two of the 'Trust' imaging campaign," Seng said. "Having regained a high level of consumer confidence, we are now able to emphasize the quality and enjoyment US beef delivers, rather than focus solely on safety. While safety remains a key point with Korean consumers, we're now better able to differentiate US beef for its flavor and consistency - which is what really appeals to buyers."

Other markets achieving strong growth in 2010 include Russia, where exports have more than doubled in volume (49,766 metric tons) and quadrupled in value to $134.3 million. This reflects a nearly 700% surge in muscle-cut exports to Russia, valued at $95.3 million. Exports to Taiwan have eclipsed the previous record, reaching 31,522 metric tons valued at $172.4 million. This is an increase of 42% in volume and 51% in value over 2009. Exports to Hong Kong are also up sharply this year – 53% in volume (28,735 metric tons) and 70% in value ($109.2 million).

Pork exports are up only 2% in volume over 2009 to 1.39 million metric tons but have posted a 9% increase in value to $3.49 billion. For the first 10 months of the year, this puts US pork exports just 3.5% behind the all-time record pace of 2008 for export value. The ratio of total US production exported is 23.5%, while the value per hog slaughtered is $43.47.