Beef, pork muscle cuts lead February export advances

by Editor
Friday, April 23, 2010

Both U.S. beef and pork exports grew in February, with strong expansion in muscle cuts leading the way in both, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

The monthly value of total U.S. beef exports jumped 14.5 percent compared to one year ago to reach $252.5 million, while tonnage climbed 8.6 percent to 71,843 metric tons (158.4 million pounds). Pork exports for the month moved up slightly over one year ago, increasing 2.6 percent in value to $377.6 million and just under 1 percent in volume to 159,331 metric tons (351.3 million pounds).

Pork exports in February accounted for 25 percent of total U.S. pork production, equating to nearly $44 per head, up from $37.37 per head just last month. On the beef side, exports remained steady at 10 percent of production but the value edged up to $123 per head of steer and heifer slaughter from $119 in January.

Overall beef exports for the first two months of 2010 are up a solid 9 percent in volume to 144,439 metric tons (318.4 million pounds) valued at $500.5 million – a 10 percent increase. Importantly, these gains are coming as the United States’ No. 1 destination for beef exports, Mexico, continues to suffer from the economic downturn. In January and February, Mexico purchased 39,364 metric tons (86.8 million pounds) of U.S. beef valued at $123.9 million – a 23 percent drop in volume and a 31 percent drop in value versus the first two months of 2009.

Complete February 2010 export statistics can be found online here.