The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports that November exports of U.S. pork and beef reached their highest monthly volumes in more than two years. Pork exports exceeded 177,000 tons valued at $443.4 million. That's an increase of 5% in volume and 15% in value over November 2009. At the same time, Beef export value was $389.5 million, an increase of nearly 50% over November 2009. By volume beef exports exceeded the year-ago level by 32%
For the first 11 months of 2010, pork exports were up 2% in volume and 10% in value. The cumulative value total is just 4% below the all-time record pace set in the first 11 months of 2008. For the year, exports accounted for 23.6% of production with a per-head value equivalent of $43.61.
For the first 11 months of 2010, beef exports were 18% above 2009 in terms of volume and 30% higher by value. The value total is about 1% ahead of the 2003 pace when beef exports went on to set a single-year record. Exports accounted for 11.6% of production with a per-head value equivalent of $150.36.
USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng says November was clearly one of the best months on record for U.S. meat exports. With economies improving throughout the world, U.S. pork and beef are well-positioned for strong growth.
"We worked through some very difficult economic circumstances in 2009," Seng said. "But we're now seeing those persistent marketing efforts pay big dividends as exports are adding more and more value to every animal produced."
Japan was the leading value destination for U.S. pork, during the first 11 months of 2010. Japan purchased more than $1.5 billion worth of pork product, exceeding the previous year's pace by 6%. In terms of volume, exports to Japan are up 2%. But, Mexico is the leading volume destination, purchasing more than 491,000 metric tons of U.S. pork, up 9%. Export value to Mexico has already set a new record of $890.6 million. Also, pork exports to Canada for the year are up 18% in value.
November signaled a positive turnaround for beef exports to Mexico, exceeding year ago levels by 13% in volume and more than 30% in value. Overall, for the year exports to Mexico remain lower by 16% in volume and 12% in value. Meanwhile, U.S. exports to Korea have more than doubled in volume and grown by 152% in value to more than $468 million. South Korea remains the fourth-largest market for U.S. beef.
U.S. lamb exports continue to struggle. Through the first 11 months of 2010, lamb exports are 7% lower by volume and 26% lower in value, just $18.7 million. Mexico remains the leading volume market and has surpassed the Caribbean as the top value destination. Other markets showing promising growth in 2010 include Costa Rica, Panama, Hong Kong and Singapore.