The positive trend for U.S. beef and pork exports continued in February, with an increasingly large portion of total U.S. production going to international customers while returning more revenue to America’s red meat industry, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
For the month of February, 27% of U.S. pork production was sold outside of the United States with the incremental value of exports reaching $51.48 per head – versus 25.2% and $43.81 last year. Total pork exports jumped 15% in value and 8% in volume versus February 2010 totals.
At the same time, U.S. beef exports in February accounted for 12.9% of total production versus 10.6% last year at this time, and the incremental value of beef exports per head of fed slaughter reached $182.12, compared to $126.50 last year. For the month, total beef exports were up 47.2% in value and 25% in volume over year-ago levels.
Exports of U.S. pork in February reached 172,022 metric tons valued at $434.4 million. For the first two months of 2011, those totals are 337,160 metric tons valued at $831.3 million, increases of 11% in volume and 17% in value. Mexico, Japan, the Hong Kong/China region, South Korea and Canada remain the top five export markets.
The strength of U.S. pork exports was seen across the board so far this year, with only two major markets (Mexico and the ASEAN region) showing any slippage from last year. In Japan, the leading value market for U.S. pork, exports were up 19% in volume and 17% in value for the first two months of 2011 to 74,498 metric tons valued at $280.3 million. In addition, Japanese import data show the U.S. market share increased to 45.5 percent of all imported pork – up from 43.2 percent a year ago.
A similar trend has emerged in beef exports with strong growth across a diverse base of international markets. For the first two months of 2011, virtually every significant export market showed growth versus 2010 levels.
Exports of U.S. beef in February reached 89,787 metric tons valued at $371.7 million. For the first two months of 2011, those totals are 179,460 metric tons valued at $727.3 million, increases of 24% in volume and 45% in value. Mexico, South Korea, Canada, the Middle East and Japan are the top five export markets.
Mexico leads the way in volume and value, importing 40,542 metric tons valued at $151.6 million, increases of 3% in volume and 22% in value over last year as this key market continues its rebound from the global economic slump that affected it more profoundly and for a longer period than many nations.
Exports of U.S. lamb continue to be higher in volume but lower in value versus year-ago levels. Two-month totals show 2,621 metric tons exported (25 percent increase versus 2010) valued at just under $4 million, a 10% dip. Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean are the top export markets.