DENVER – This year, led by a record-breaking month in September for pork exports to China and the continued rebound of beef exports to Mexico, the US is still on course to set new annual records for the value of US beef, pork and lamb exports. This news is based on statistics released by the US Department of Agriculture and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation.

September pork exports increased 23.6 percent in volume and 40.5 percent in value from September 2010, while beef exports increased 27.3 percent in volume and 35.9 percent in value. US lamb exports increased 113 percent in volume over September of 2010, while the value of those exports jumped 83.9 percent.

September pork exports equaled 26 percent of total US pork and pork variety meat production. Those exports were valued at $56 per head – solid increases from September 2010 totals of 22 percent of production and $40.87 per head. Beef exports accounted for 14.4 percent of total beef and beef variety meat production and $212.64 in value per head of fed cattle, up from 11 percent of production and $151 in value per head last year.

Pork exports are on track to eclipse $5 billion in value for the year for the first time. For September, the US exported 183,495 metric tons of pork valued at $537.6 million, which trails only March of 2011 as the second-highest monthly export value on record. So far this year, the US has exported more than 1.6 million metric tons of pork valued at nearly $4.4 billion, increases of 16 percent and 25 percent, respectively, over the first nine months of 2010.

Pork exports were led by China/Hong Kong, which bought 47,180 metric tons of product, up 64 percent from last year. The 39,020 metric tons purchased by China was a new monthly record, up 92 percent from last year. The value of the exports to China/Hong Kong was $101.7 million, a 129 percent jump from last year.

US beef exports totaled 109,708 metric tons valued at $461 million in September. For the year, exports stand at 967,388 metric tons valued at $4 billion, increases of 26 percent and 39 percent, respectively, over the first nine months of 2010.Beef exports were paced by Mexico, which purchased 22,054 metric tons valued at $86.8 million, up 14 percent and 37 percent, respectively, from September of 2010.

USMEF is preparing to launch the latest wave of its ‘To Trust’ beef imaging campaign in South Korea to help continue the momentum in that key export market.

US lamb has already passed the 2006 record year. For September, the US exported 1,418 metric tons of lamb valued at $2.3 million. For the year, the industry has exported 14,301 metric tons valued at $23.5 million, increases of 76 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Mexico remains the prime destination for US lamb. For the year, it has purchased 8,029 metric tons valued at $10 million.