October 18, 2011


US pork, beef exports soar in August



US pork and beef exports performed outstandingly in August, according to statistics shown by USDA and tabulated by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).


Pork exports reached their highest monthly volume of the year at 186,068 tonnes, and the second-highest value total of all time at US$531.2 million.


Beef exports set an all-time monthly value record at US$514.2 million on a strong volume of 116,405 tonnes. Both pork and beef exports are on pace to set new value records in 2011 and to eclipse the US$5 billion mark for the first time ever.


Pork exports surge in Asia, Canada, Russia, Southern Hemisphere markets. August pork exports were 27% higher than a year ago in terms of volume and 44% higher in value (surpassed only by the record US$553.6 million, set in March 2011). This performance pushed year-to-date exports to nearly 1.44 million tonnes valued at US$3.82 billion, an increase of 16% in volume and 23% in value over last year's pace. August exports equated to 27.3% of production with a value of US$56.27 per head, compared to 22.4% and US$40.87 in August 2010. For the year, pork exports equated to 27.3% of production with a per head value of US$53.98.


August exports to Japan, the leading value market for US pork, were 28% higher than a year ago in volume (40,887 tonnes) and 37% higher in value (US$168.4 million). For the year, exports to Japan were 13% ahead of last year's record pace in terms of volume (328,353 tonnes) and 16% higher in value (US$1.27 billion).


South Korea continues to be a bright spot for US pork as August exports more than doubled last year's volume total (10,268 tonnes) and more than tripled the value (US$31.2 million). For the year, exports to Korea were 142% higher in volume (146,627 tonnes) and 192% higher in value (US$374.5 million). These totals have already set new full-year records for Korea, topping the previous highs set in 2008 of 133,532 tonnes valued at US$284 million.


Exports to China also continued to surge, with a record August volume (35,636 tonnes) pushing this year's volume up 336% (188,622 tonnes) to go along with a 237% increase in value (US$316.8 million). Exports to Canada were up 9% in volume (131,004 tonnes) and 14% in value (US$464.2 million). August export volume to Russia was the second-highest of the year at 8,213 tonnes. Though export volume to Russia (49,143 tonnes) was down about 12% for the year, value was up 22% to US$149.4 million. Another market showing exceptional growth was Australia, up 18% for the year in volume (45,865 tonnes) and 39% in value to US$147.4 million (less than US$1 million short of the full-year value record established last year). Exports to Central-South America were up 22% to 44,980 tonnes with volume up 33% to US$113.4 million. Existing trade agreements have assisted exports to this region and ratification of the Colombia and Panama FTAs will foster further growth.


Mexico continues to be the top volume destination for US pork at 344,875 tonnes, down 3% from last year's record pace. August volume of 44,641 tonnes was steady with last year but up 13% from July, and the value of August's exports to Mexico rose more than 10%. For the year, export value to Mexico was up 2% to just under US$654 million.


"It is gratifying to see US pork exports performing so well in key Asian markets and in so many countries across the globe," said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "Many regions of the world are facing very tight pork supplies and exports from many pork-producing countries are stagnant. The efficiency and resourcefulness of US producers have allowed our industry to fill this need, and through aggressive campaigns such as the global pork butt initiative we are moving a wider range of cuts than ever in overseas markets. This has solidified our position as the world's leading pork exporter."

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