August 15, 2011


US beef, pork exports set to gain solid June records



US 2011 beef and pork exports are likely to set several new records and each could reach the US$5 billion mark for the first time ever.


This is if the trend established in the first six months of the year holds up. June beef exports achieved the second-highest value ever at US$461.8 million, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation. This was 23% higher than June 2010, and has been surpassed only once -- by the March 2011 value total of US$475.2 million.

June beef exports in terms of volume reached 111,362 tonnes -- an increase of 15% over June 2010. This brought the cumulative 2011 total to 620,851 tonnes valued at US$2.55 billion, which was 25% higher in volume and 40% higher in value than last year's pace. For the first half of this year, beef exports equated to 13.8% of total production with an export value of US$192.42 per head of fed slaughter. The US has also recaptured its position as the world's leading beef exporter, outpacing Australia and Brazil.


June pork exports were slightly higher in volume (165,786 tonnes) than last year and 6% higher in value (US$451.2 million). This pushed first-half pork exports to 1.08 million tonnes valued at US$2.81 billion -- over-year increases of 14% and 19%, respectively. When compared to the all-time record year of 2008, the pace of this year's pork exports is 6% higher in volume and 21% higher in value. For the first half of this year, pork exports accounted for more than 27% of total production with export value equal to US$52.76 per head.


Extremely positive June results in Mexico and Canada firmly established their positions as the No. 1 and No. 2 markets for US beef. Demand for US beef in Mexico continues to rebound, as exports through June were 8% higher in volume (126,309 tonnes) and 25% higher in value (US$474.3 million) than in 2010. Canada was the value pacesetter in June with exports topping US$96.6 million -- a new monthly record. Cumulatively through June, exports to Canada were 23% higher than last year in terms of volume (87,334 tonnes) and 44% higher in value (US$463.9 million).


June exports to Japan reached their highest monthly volume (17,626 tonnes) since 2003, pushing the 2011 total 50% higher in volume (77,298 tonnes) and 54% higher in value (US$416.3 million). Other key Asian markets for US beef have cooled somewhat from the red-hot pace set earlier this year, but the results remain very encouraging. Through June, exports to South Korea were 73% higher in volume (86,890 tonnes) than last year and 69% higher in value (US$380.8 million). Hong Kong was up 82% in volume (26,521 tonnes) and 109% in value (US$117.3 million).


With duty-free access on certain cuts and aggressive marketing programs firmly in place, US pork exports to Korea reached 122,880 tonnes valued at US$301.5 million. This represented a 145% increase in volume over the first half of last year, and nearly triple the value.

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