Beef exports up 27 percent in value, 16 percent in volume; pork exports up, too

By TIM HEARDEN

Capital Press

September statistics show that beef and pork exports are maintaining their winning streak in 2010, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Beef exports that month showed a 30.2 percent jump in value over year-ago levels while volume climbed 16.6 percent, the organization reported in a news release.

The U.S. exported 86,182 metric tons of beef valued at $339.3 million in September. For the year, beef exports are up 16 percent in volume and 27 percent in value to 766,791 metric tons valued at $2.9 billion, according to USMEF.

"It has been a good year," said USMEF spokesman Jim Herlihy, noting that the value of beef exports in the first nine months of the year was $151 per head.

"The beef side is probably doing a little bit better" although pork exports are also up, Herlihy said. "The good news there certainly is we're getting a higher value. We're exporting slightly more but getting ... a higher return on those exports."

For pork, September exports climbed 10 percent over 2009 totals to $382.6 million, the federation reported.

This gain came despite a slippage in volume by 3.6 percent to 148,416 metric tons.

In 2010, pork export volume is up 2 percent to nearly 1.4 million metric tons valued at $3.5 billion -- a 9 percent hike in value over 2009, the USMEF states.

"The U.S. pork industry remains the lowest-cost producer of pork, which is going to make our product very affordable in these other countries," said Dave Warner, spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council.

Pork exports in 2010 have accounted for 23 percent of U.S. production and $43.62 per head value, which tops the $42.30 per head total set in 2008's record export year, according to the USMEF.

"We have the safest, most nutritious product in the world and other people want it," Warner said, "so it's natural that our exports would do well, and we are the No. 1 exporter of pork in the world."

Lamb exports in 2010 have fallen 2 percent in volume to 8,136 metric tons and 23 percent in value to $16.2 million, the federation reported.

Livestock groups have credited an improving economy, rebounding trade and renewed confidence in American meat for the beef and pork export gains, which have been consistent throughout the year.

Online

U.S. Meat Export Federation: www.usmef.org

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