China, Mexico Help Drive Torrid Red Meat Export Pace

US - Led by a record-breaking month for pork exports to China and the continued rebound of beef exports to Mexico, 2011 remains on pace to set new annual records for the value of beef, pork and lamb exports, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
calendar icon 11 November 2011
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September results show pork exports up 23.6 per cent in volume and 40.5 per cent in value from last year while beef exports rose 27.3 per cent in volume and 35.9 per cent in value. Not to be left out, US lamb exports soared 113 per cent in volume over September of 2010 while the value of those exports jumped 83.9 per cent.

"This year has presented opportunities for the US red meat industry to expand exports, and the industry has worked aggressively to capitalise on those opportunities," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "The premiums that international buyers pay for US beef, pork and lamb are critical to the bottom line of US producers."

On the pork side of the industry, September exports equated to 26 per cent of total US pork and pork variety meat production and those exports were valued at $56 per head – solid increases from September 2010 totals of 22 per cent of production and $40.87 per head.

For beef, September exports accounted for 14.4 per cent of total beef and beef variety meat production and $212.64 in value per head of fed cattle, up from 11 per cent of production and $151 in value per head last year.

US beef exports hit 109,708 metric tons (27.3 increase) valued at $461 million (35.9 increase) in September. For the year, exports stand at 967,388 metric tons valued at $4 billion, increases of 26 per cent and 39 per cent, 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 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, from September of 2010.

The Middle East was the second-largest volume destination in September, importing a record-large 17,624 metric tons valued at $35.6 million. Both were roughly a 59 per cent jump over year-ago totals. Egypt remains the largest importer in the region, but growth is seen in both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Exports to Canada were the smallest since March, but remain 12 per cent higher in volume and 19 per cent in value versus last September, reaching 14,564 metric tons valued at $78.2 million. Canada was the second-largest value and third-largest volume destination for US beef for the month.

While off the pace of earlier in the year, beef exports to Japan and South Korea were up year-on-year. Japan imported 12,188 metric tons valued at $69.5 million (up 7.4 per cent in volume and 18.1 per cent in value) while Korean imports reached 9,027 metric tons valued at $42.2 million (up 9.5 per cent and 9.9 per cent, respectively).

"We are encouraged by the growing confidence level we are seeing among consumers in both Japan and Korea regarding US beef," said Mr Seng. "In recent years, we were seeing lingering concerns related to BSE, but the ‘We Care’ campaign in Japan and the ‘To Trust’ campaign USMEF has mounted in Korea have garnered consumer support."

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

TheCattleSite News Desk

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