August 15, 2008


US beef exports hike by 30 percent in H1 as foreign markets expand


US beef exports in the first half of the year totalled 445,036 tonnes valued at US$1.58 billion, an increase of 30 percent in volume and 39 percent in value.


First-half beef exports of the US reached 71 percent of the value achieved in the first six months of 2003, and 87 percent of the value achieved during the same time period.


The brisk export business resulted from the resumption of trade with South Korea, which represented an important breakthrough as the Asian country is the third largest consumer of US beef.


Other than South Korea, more foreign markets also increased their demand for US beef. The top-performing markets for US beef and beef variety meats continue to be Mexico and Canada.


In June, exports to Mexico were up 18 percent in volume over last year to 199,890 tonnes valued at US$678.1 million.


Furthermore, the US beef continues to rebuild market share in Japan, which was once the single largest market for beef exports. Beef and beef variety meat sales in Japan climbed 66 percent in volume over last year to 34,339 tonnes, valued at US$177 million.


US beef is also showing much greater penetration in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Through June, year-to-date exports to this region rose 380 percent in volume over last year to 24,454 tonnes, valued at US$67.1 million. Vietnam led the way with 18,092 tonnes, followed by the Philippines at 4,992 tonnes.


Beef exports to Russia are well on their way to surpassing 2003 levels – the last year this market was open to US beef. Russia has imported 11,194 tonnes of beef and beef variety meats so far this year, valued at US$25 million.


The US said that while this year's beef exports will not be able to match the peak levels achieved earlier in this decade, the beef industry is getting close to reaching the same level of value. While beef exports exceeded US$3.8 billion in 2003, she forecasts that this year's exports could total as high as US$3.5 billion – assuming no major disruptions in trade.

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