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November 18, 2008

                              
US pork and beef maintain strong export levels
                      

 

Both US pork and beef export levels continued to soar above expectations through the first nine months of the year, according to the US Meat Export Federation.

 

US pork exports built on the record set in August skyrocketed 61 percent in September over totals from a year ago. US pork and variety meat exports for the month totalled 163,055 tonnes.

 

Beef plus variety meat exports also maintained their strength through September with monthly exports up 47 percent to 98,640 tonnes valued at US $396 million.

 

Year-to-date, pork exports are up 70 percent in volume in comparison with 2007 to 1.5 million tonnes valued at US$3.6 billion, a 64 percent increase.

 

Currency fluctuations and credit issues are affecting the flow of world meat trade and exports will be impacted in the final quarter of the year, predicts USMEF. However, as markets stabilise, demand for US pork and beef should remain strong.

 

Japan, Mexico, Russia and Hong Kong / China were the leading markets for pork exports in September, although Canada set a new monthly record and South Korea continues to grow as a market for US pork.

 

Japan is now the top export market for US pork in volume and value for the year at 335,671 tonnes valued at US$1.1 billion with increases of 26 and 32 percent, respectively. Exports in September were 38 percent higher than last year, totalling 36,394 tonnes.

 

Mexico was the second-largest destination for US pork in September with exports totalling 29,575 tonnes up 43 percent from a year ago. The Hong Kong/China region continued to be the second-largest destination measured in volume for US pork through the first nine months of 2008, with exports up 214 percent to 330,601 tonnes valued at US $572 million, a 268 percent jump.

 

September pork exports to Canada set a new record at 15,882 tonnes narrowly surpassing the 15,853 tonnes exported during July and up 9 percent from a year ago. For 2008, exports volumes are up 21 percent to 125,917 tonnes valued at US $416 million, a 19 percent hike.

 

Weekly Canadian live hog exports to the US remain well below year-ago levels, with exports of all live hogs down 4 percent from January through November 8, 2008 compared to the same period last year, totalling just over 8 million head.   The latest Canadian inventory report showed the breeding herd down 8.3 percent in October.   Therefore the trend for lower live hog exports and lower Canadian pork production is expected to continue in 2009.

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