DENVER – US beef exports (including muscle cuts and variety meat) are expected surpass $5.3 billion in 2011, once December results are available to confirm this estimate. While this would easily be a record amount, US Meat Export Federation Economist Erin Borror told the cattle industry’s Joint International Markets Committee during a recent meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

It’s also important to note the US industry’s net beef exports may be as high as $2 billion. The ratio of US fed beef production being exported is about 17 percent, she added.

Beef cuts typically exported — such as chuck, round, short plate and liver — have increased in value and made the beef cutout less dependent on middle meats, Borror said. This is particularly important during difficult economic times experienced in recent years in which demand for middle meats by US consumers was sluggish.