After a year of challenges – highlighted by the worst drought in more than a half-century – the U.S. red meat (beef, pork and lamb) industry is focusing on 2013 as a year of great opportunities to increase the value those agricultural exports bring to exporters, processors, producers and the broad American agricultural industry that supports them, according to USMEF.
The impact of the 2012 drought – which continues into 2013 – cannot be minimized. An estimated 80 percent of U.S. agricultural land was affected, according to USDA reports. Corn production dipped nearly 13 percent below the 2011-12 crop year and was the smallest since 2003-04 with the lowest yields since 1995-96. Soybean production was down 2.5 percent with yields down 6 percent.
A shortage of livestock feed and the high cost of what was available contributed to herd culling and reduced product availability.
As we continue to explore new market niches and expand the spectrum of U.S. red meat products sold internationally, it is gratifying to see the per-head export values for American beef and pork at record highs: $56.12 per head for pork and $214.64 for beef.
2013 U.S. Pork Export Forecast
With one month missing from last year’s totals, USMEF projects pork exports for 2012 to reach 2.27 million metric tons (5 billion pounds) valued at $6.35 billion – both new records. For 2013, we forecast volume and value of pork exports to increase 5 percent, reaching 2.39 million metric tons (5.27 billion pounds) valued at $6.6 billion.
Friday January 18, 2013/ USMEF/ United States.