Year-end statistics for 2011 exports of U.S. pork, beef and lamb set new records across the board. For both volume and value exports reached all-time highs and exceeded $11.5 billion in total value, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)
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 2011.
Beef exports finished the year at 1.287 million metric tons valued at $5.42 billion. This broke the 2003 volume record of 1.274 million metric tons and easily surpassed the 2010 value record of $4.08 billion. Export volume was 21 percent larger than in 2010, with value up 33 percent.
Lamb exports totaled 18,343 metric tons valued at $30.08 million. This topped the previous record performance of 2006, when exports totaled 13,934 metric tons valued at $27.8 million. Compared to 2010, lamb export volume was up 72 percent and value increased 46 percent.
“It is extremely gratifying to see all meat exports reaching new heights, even with the various trade obstacles we still face across the world,” says Philip Seng, USMEF president and chief executive officer. “U.S. producers have provided superior products to market and made solid investments in the international markets – not only from pork, beef and lamb checkoff programs, but also from the corn and soybean checkoffs. Along with the experienced staff we have in place in the foreign markets, our trade officials who continue to work for greater market access and the exporters and traders who work every day to grow the presence of U.S. meat worldwide, they are to be commended for their foresight and commitment to global marketing.”
While the record-breaking performance of 2011 is impressive, Seng feels strongly that USMEF and its industry partners have laid the groundwork for even greater success in the future.
“Demand for U.S. meat has never been stronger, and we are well-positioned to build on this success,” he says. “We have the marketing tools in place to showcase the quality and consistency of U.S. products, which our industry is able to deliver at a very competitive price and end users are able to utilize in extremely creative and innovative ways. Real opportunities exist for further growth, and USMEF fully intends to capitalize on this strong momentum.”