The U.S. Meat Export Federation brought a Russian pork processing team to the U.S. in June. USMEF invited the companies to attend a U.S. buyers' tour to discuss future sales with several U.S. red meat packers and processed meat companies. In addition, it established important partnerships for the future and introduced the visitors to the U.S. system of livestock and meat production.

USMEF recognizes the importance of the Russia market for U.S. pork, opening an office in Moscow in 1992 and a St. Petersburg office in 1998. Russia currently ranks as the eighth largest export destination for U.S. pork and pork variety meats. Most USMEF efforts in Russia are focused on the huge processing industry. 

This project has a second phase in which USMEF will assist in retail promotions of U.S. red meats and processed meats. USMEF will help support in-store tasting and create point of purchase materials for the companies who begin to purchase U.S. red meats or processed meats as a result of the buyers’ tour. The retail promotions will assist USMEF with tracking U.S. sales and provide additional information to measure the success of the promotion.

USMEF projects steady growth through 2006 for U.S. exports of pork and pork variety meats. U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports set tonnage and value records in 2003 — 757,905 metric tons — valued at more than $1.58 billion.

Meat from approximately 10 in 100 U.S. pigs is destined for the export market. In 1990, only 3 of 100 U.S. pigs were exported. The U.S. exports the equivalent of 18,000 pigs daily. One in every 5 pounds of pork traded in the world originates from the U.S. Japan, Mexico and Canada account for 77 percent of U.S. pork exports.

During the past decade more than 2.6 billion bushels of corn and 290 million bushels of soybeans were utilized to produce $43 billion in U.S. red meat exports.