2012 record year for US meat exports

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, February 14, 2013

US beef and pork exports set value records in 2012, according to year-end statistics compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

US pork exports reached 2.26 mill. t - up slightly from the record set in 2011- with a value of $6.3 bill., this is a 3.5% increase over the 2011 record. The per-head export value of US pork exports reached a record $55.87, up 1% from 2011. For the year, exports accounted for 27% of total pork production and 23.4% of pork muscle cut production vs. 27.5% and 23%, respectively, in 2011.

Beef exports in 2012 rose 2% in value to a record-high of $5.51 bill. on 12% lower volumes (1.13 mill. t). The per-head export value for beef increased $10.36 to reach $216.73. Contributing to that was a new monthly record value of $242.65 set in December. For the year, US beef exports accounted for 12.7% of total beef production compared to 14.2% in 2011. Muscle cut production accounted for 9.8%, compared to 11% in 2011.

In addition to value records, one-year export records were set in several key markets, including:

Pork
  • Mexico: 600,949 t (+12%) valued at $1.126 bill. (+8%)
  • Canada: 235,604 t (+14%) valued at $855.7 mill. (+16%)
  • Central/South America: 90,897 t (+26%) valued at $227.9 mill. (+22%)
  • Australia/New Zealand: 76,801 t (+9%) valued at $236.1 mill. (+5%)

Beef
  • Russia: 80,408 t (+10%) valued at $307.5 mill. (+20%)
  • Hong Kong: 65,033 t (+28%) valued at $339.5 mill. (+43%)
  • Central/South America: 33,891 t (+31%) valued at $134.1 mill. (+57%)
  • Canada: 180,015 t (-6%) valued at $1.177 bill. (+14%)

The 2012 figures point to a positive outlook for 2013, according to USMEF.

Japan re-opening its market to US beef under 30 months of age may contribute to a projected growth in beef exports of 4% in volume (to 1.17 mill. t) valued at more than $6 bill. This may be offset if issues with exports to Russia are not resolved. Russia imposed a ban on US chilled and frozen meat products.

USMEF forecasts steady to slight growth for pork, with exports likely to still exceed 2.2 mill. t valued at more than $6 bill. Key risk factors include Russia and domestic production in China. On the bullish side, continued growth to Mexico is also expected to boost profits.
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