U.S. Red Meat Exports Continue To Increase In 2006

US - The year-end numbers for U.S. meat exports for 2006 don’t lie – they show continued record breaking in U.S. pork export volume for the 15th year, rebounding U.S. beef exports and increasing totals of U.S. lamb exports.
calendar icon 21 February 2007
clock icon 5 minute read

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reports U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to countries around the world totaled 1.26 million metric tons (mt), a 9 percent increase over the previous year. Value also increased 9 percent in 2006, reaching more than $2.86 billion.

Although a great deal of attention was focused on resumption of U.S. beef trade in Japan, it remained the No. 1 market in value for U.S. pork and pork variety meat with a value of $1.04 billion. Although value dipped 4 percent from 2005, Japan was the only market to exceed $1 billion in U.S. pork sales in 2006.

USMEF activities included cooking events to inform consumers and chef on the best ways to cook U.S. pork cuts, in addition to seasonal recipes tailored to holiday events and traditions in Japan. “Consumer response to the taste, tenderness and texture of U.S. pork at USMEF activities has been extremely positive,” USMEF Japan Director Greg Hanes said.

Mexico led all markets in volume of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports at 356,418 mt, a 7 percent increase over 2005. USMEF encourages U.S. pork purchases through retail promotions, cooking classes, appealing retail marketing and education on U.S. pork’s role in overall health.

“We have had success with events that cultivate future customers of U.S. pork while imparting important information about quality meat as part of a healthy diet, particularly for young, growing children,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director of Mexico and the Dominican Republic. “Not only are we increasing U.S. pork exports, but we are also helping create sustained growth from an increased focus on health and diet.”

Other areas that showed growth in 2006 include South Korea, Russia and the Caribbean. Meat prices in South Korea are at an all-time high, so USMEF showed consumers how the taste and quality of U.S. pork is similar to domestic pork, but at a lower price. U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to this market in 2006 increased 52 percent in volume to 109,198 mt and 50 percent in value to $232.1 million compared to 2005.

“A favorable price has encouraged more consumers to try U.S. chilled pork, but once they try it, they purchase it again because of its good flavor and high quality,” said Jihae Yang, USMEF Korea director.

For a breakdown of export statistics by market, see U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports for 2006 on the USMEF Web site.

U.S. Beef Making A Comeback Internationally
Meanwhile, U.S. beef exports also had a good year as increased access led to export growth. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports worldwide increased 39 percent in volume to 655,920 mt and 50 percent in value to $2.04 billion in 2006 compared to 2005.

“Export volume outpaced our forecast by 3 percent and this growth occurred without market access to Korea, and limited access to Japan,” said Erin Daley, USMEF manager, research and analysis. “Looking at countries with full market access, in other words exclude Korea, Japan Russia and Hong Kong/China, U.S. beef export volumes in 2006 were 16.5 percent higher than 2003, prior to the BSE case.”

Even including Hong Kong/China, export volumes were 9 percent higher in 2006 than 2003 and value increased 24 percent this year from 2003, Daley reports.

For the third consecutive year, Mexico led all markets in volume and value for U.S. beef and beef variety meat in 2006. Volume increased 32 percent to 371,087 mt and value went up 33 percent to $1.17 billion. Sales to Mexico for the year also topped 2003 by 110 percent in volume and 133 percent in value. Strong community marketing efforts along with education on nutrition and new value cuts by USMEF in addition to a strong peso and economy have retained growth in this market.

“They’ve had higher growth rates in Mexico than in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan,” said USMEF President and CEO Phil Seng. “After the first BSE case in the United States in 2003, Mexico was the first major market to reopen to U.S. beef. They’ve been a leader in this regard.”

Beef exports to the Middle East doubled in volume in 2006 compared to 2003 when the market was last open the entire year. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to this region totaled 88,073 mt in volume and $113.6 million in value compared to 40,635 mt and $80.5 million in 2003. The success of U.S. beef livers, kidneys and hearts in this region has contributed greatly, returning profits to the U.S. beef industry on products that are not as popular in the United States.

USMEF has capitalized on this success by expanding the outreach of variety meat to a larger distribution area and to wholesalers. Using restaurant promotions, consumers have been attracted to try U.S. beef livers at family restaurants and from street vendors. In addition, a widespread media campaign featuring recipes and cooking suggestions for U.S. beef muscle cuts have been featured in many popular food and home magazines throughout the region.

The USMEF “We Care” campaign in Japan has contributed to restored consumer and trader confidence in U.S. beef since it returned to the country in early August 2006. In those four months, the United States exported 13,736 mt valued at $66.5 million to Japan. USMEF reports increasing demand from retailers and foodservice outlets, indicating consumers are gradually returning to the taste and quality U.S. beef offers.

The “We Care” campaign provides a consistent message to consumers and traders through different activities like newspaper advertisements, beef bowl restaurant promotions, information seminars and community events to demonstrate the sincerity of the U.S. beef industry in providing a safe and consistent product.

For a breakdown of export statistics by market, see U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports for 2006 on the USMEF Web site.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.