WASHINGTON – US lamb exports slipped 29 percent in volume and 13 percent in value for the year, according to data compiled by the US Meat Export Federation.

USMEF said 2012 was a challenging year for the global lamb industry, not just the US. However, a bright spot for the year was exports to Mexico and Canada, the two top markets, recorded increases in value.

Another good sign for the industry includes gaining market access to Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Korea and the European Union, USMEF said. These key markets are critical to the lamb industry because a resumption of trade could present promising opportunities for US lamb, especially in the foodservice sector.