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August Beef, Pork Exports Lower than a Year Ago

16 October 2012, at 8:21am

US - Despite a continued slump in US red meat export volume and a further dip in August sales, the value of beef and pork exports for the first eight months of the year remained slightly ahead of 2011’s record-setting pace, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

US beef exports in August were the second-largest of the year at 100,468 metric tons, but this was still 14 percent below the August 2011 volume. In value, August exports totaled $486.2 million. While five per cent lower than a year ago, it was also the second-highest monthly total of 2012.

For January through August, beef exports were 11 per cent lower than a year ago in volume (759,901 metric tons) but still two per cent above last year’s record value pace at $3.66 billion.

US pork exports in August were down six per cent in volume (175,310 metric tons) and seven per cent in value ($495.5 million) compared to a year ago, but these totals were up 10 per cent and six per cent, respectively, from the previous month’s performance. Through the first eight months of the year, 2012 pork exports were up two per cent in volume (1.474 million metric tons) and eight per cent in value ($4.13 billion) from last year’s record levels.

“We face a challenging business climate in several key markets, with rising production costs and slowing economic growth creating some anxiety among buyers,“ said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng.

“We’re also seeing a surge in domestic meat supplies in some areas, particularly in South Korea. But the commitment to enhancing global demand for US beef and pork remains very strong, as evidenced by the terrific support of our producer organizations. These are the circumstances in which effective global marketing takes on an even greater level of importance, as producers need to maximize the value of every cut and every carcass.“

January-August beef exports accounted for 9.8 per cent of muscle cut production and 12.7 per cent when including variety meat – down from last year’s ratios of 11 per cent and 14.2 per cent. Export value per head of fed slaughter, however, was up about six per cent from last year to $212.05.

On the pork side, exports through August accounted for 23.7 per cent of muscle cut production and 27 per cent when including variety meats, compared to 22.8 per cent and 27.3 per cent in 2011. Export value averaged $56.51 per head slaughtered, up from last year’s $53.54 during the first eight months of the year.