January exports of U.S. pork and beef were well above year-ago levels, though both took a step back from the totals recorded in the previous month, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Pork exports totaled 165,138 metric tons valued at $396.9 million – an increase of 15 percent in volume and 19 percent in value over January 2010. Beef exports made an even larger year-over-year jump, increasing 24 percent in volume to 89,673 metric tons and 43 percent in value to $355.6 million.
Northern Asia markets drive strong pork results
Japan showed no letdown from its record-breaking performance of 2010, when it purchased more than $1.6 billion in U.S. pork. January exports to Japan totaled 35,765 metric tons valued at $133.5 million – an increase of 28 percent in volume and 24 percent in value over a year ago.
Exports to China were also strong, reaching 19,258 metric tons valued at $29.1 million. This market was essentially closed in January 2010, making a year-over-year comparison difficult. But this volume total is about 90 percent of that achieved in January 2008 – a year of record-large exports to China.
South Korea’s foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) situation has resulted in widespread culling of swine and is creating a need for more imported pork. U.S. exports to Korea were up 128 percent in volume (13,183 metric tons) and 163 percent in value ($32.1 million) compared to January 2010. Global Trade Atlas data show that Korea’s pork imports from all sources have increased by about 60 percent over a year ago.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation