C. The U.S. balance of trade received a $4.24 billion shot in the arm courtesy of the red meat industry in 2010, according to statistics released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Record-high export values for beef ($4.08 billion) and the second-highest total on record for pork ($4.78 billion) fueled the trade surplus. The United States agriculture sector not only was feeding much of the world, but it was an important source of jobs and revenue for the country, said Philip Seng, president and CEO of USMEF.
The U.S. beef industry exported 2.35 billion pounds valued at $4.08 billion in 2010, increases of 19 percent in volume and 32 percent in value over 2009. Beef exports exceeded imports by 605.1 million pounds and $1.155 billion in value.
Similarly, U.S. pork exports increased 3 percent in volume to 4.23 billion pounds and 10 percent in value to $4.78 billion versus 2009 totals. Those exports exceeded imports by 3.4 billion pounds and $3.58 billion in value.
Only U.S. lamb had an export deficit. Exports of 23.5 million pounds valued at $20.6 million compared with imports of 126.2 million pounds valued at $490 million. Total U.S. red meat exports in 2010 were valued at $8.88 billion, 19.4 percent higher than the previous year and 4 percent higher than the previous record set in 2008.
That $8.88 billion in exports supports an estimated 107,000 U.S. jobs, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calculations, with every billion dollars in U.S. agricultural exports supporting approximately 12,000 American jobs.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation