Pork and beef exports set new records for the month of October. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, pork exports set a new value record at $573.9 million. That’s up 41% from last year. That pushed the cumulative value through October to a new annual record of $4.93 billion – breaking the previous record set in 2008. At the same time beef export value for October was $452 million, pushing the 2011 total to a new annual record of $4.49 billion. This is 37% ahead of the previous record established in the first 10 months of 2010.
USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng notes that establishing new annual value records just 10 months into the year is an extraordinary accomplishment, and one that the U.S. pork and beef industries should be very proud of. Seng believes that sustaining an aggressive export pace is critical for maintaining and creating American jobs and a positive balance of trade.
China was the largest volume market for U.S. pork in October at 48,678 metric tons, more than double the year-ago volume and setting another monthly record. Strong October exports to Japan further solidified its position as the leading value market for U.S. pork. Through October, export volume to Japan reached 410,057 metric tons, valued at $1.62 billion.
Mexico is the top volume destination for U.S. pork, with October exports up slightly in volume over last year but 15% higher in value. The volume and value records for Canada are also likely to fall as strong October exports pushed its total to 168,828 metric tons valued at $604.8 million. And exports to South Korea, which had already broken their previous records, remained strong in October. Exports to Korea have been bolstered this year by duty-free access for some imported pork cuts and a severe shortage of domestic product.
Despite being down slightly in October, Mexico remains this year’s leading volume destination for U.S. beef at 213,004. Mexico was the export value leader in October at $85.3 million, pushing the 2011 total 25% higher than last year.
Canada held its position as the top value market for U.S. beef in the first 10 months of 2011 at $861.9 million, a new annual record, up 46% over the 2010 pace. Japan is the third-largest individual market in terms of both volume and value. These totals exceed last year’s pace by 30% and 38%, respectively.
And beef exports to South Korea maintained a very strong pace, pushing the 2011 volume to 129,810 metric tons, up 43% from last year and valued at nearly $575 million.
U.S. lamb exports were also very solid in October, with volume more than doubling last year’s total and value up 77% to 2.3 million. Export volume through the first 10 months of the year was a record 15,788 metric tons. The export value of $25.8 million is on pace to set a new record by the end of the year. Strong performance in Mexico, Canada, the Middle East and the southeastern Caribbean islands accounted for much of this growth.