According to year-end statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), exports of U.S. pork, beef and lamb set new records across the board in 2011, reaching all-time highs in both volume and value and exceeding $11.5 billion in total value.
Pork exports totaled 2.255 million metric tons valued at $6.11 billion, breaking the previous volume record of 2.052 million metric tons and shattering the value record of $4.88 billion, which were both established in 2008. Year-over-year, pork exports were up 18 percent in volume and 28 percent in value.
For the year, pork exports equated to 27.5 percent of total production when including both muscle cuts and variety meat. In terms of muscle cuts only, exports totaled 23 percent of total production. This was up substantially from 23.7 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in 2010. Export value per head slaughtered was $55.55, an increase of 27 percent (nearly $12) from a year ago.
Pork exports to Japan set new records for both volume (493,313 metric tons) and value ($1.96 billion), respective increases of 13 percent and 19 percent over 2010. While slightly lower in volume (537,535 metric tons) than last year, Mexico became the first market other than Japan to import more than $1 billion in U.S. pork in a single year. Exports to Mexico jumped 6 percent in value over 2010, reaching $1.04 billion.
Other pork export highlights included several new records, with a very strong year in the Hong Kong/China region pushing exports up 64 percent in volume to 483,323 metric tons and nearly doubling in value to $910 million (and surpassed 2008 records). Exports to South Korea more than doubled in volume to 188,307 metric tons and increased 162 percent in value to $497 million. Exports to Australia grew 23 percent in volume (64,350 metric tons) and 38 percent in value ($204.6 million) – breaking the $200 million mark just seven years after the first exports of U.S. pork to this market. Central and South America saw increases of 21 percent in volume (72,023 metric tons) and 32 percent in value ($186.6 million), as existing free trade agreements with Honduras and Chile boosted 2011 exports and newly ratified trade agreements with Panama and Colombia offer excellent opportunities for further growth in 2012.
Friday February 10, 2012/ USMEF/ United States.