- Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat unless otherwise noted
- One metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds
U.S. pork exports in September were steady with last year’s volume, while beef exports were well below a year ago. Despite sluggish volumes, however, the value of both pork and beef exports through the third quarter of 2012 remains ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
“We are definitely in a challenging economic environment, which is making it difficult to match last year’s export volumes,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “But our products continue to command an excellent price in the international markets and provide substantial returns to U.S. producers, which is critically important at a time when they face extremely high production costs.”
September pork exports reached 183,853 metric tons (mt), slightly exceeding last year’s total. Though export value declined 6 percent compared to last year to $505 million, it was about 2 percent higher than the August value of $495.5 million.
For January through September, pork exports were up 2 percent in volume at 1.657 million metric tons and up 6 percent in value to $4.6 billion. Exports equated to 23.6 percent of muscle cut production and 27 percent when including both muscle cuts and variety meat (compared to last year’s ratios of 22.8 percent and 27 percent). Export value equated to $56.16 per head slaughtered, 4.5 percent above the per-head average established during the same period last year.
With fewer production days this year, September beef production declined 9 percent and exports fell 17 percent in volume to 90,538 mt. September export value dropped 4 percent to $442.8 million, but was significantly higher on a per-head-of-fed-slaughter basis – increasing 7 percent to $227.65.
Despite January-September beef export volume being down 12 percent to 850,439 mt, export value totaled $4.1 billion. This was 2 percent above last year’s record pace and already exceeded the 2010 full calendar year total of $4.08 billion. Exports equated to 9.8 percent of muscle cut production and 12.7 percent when including both muscle cuts and variety meat, compared to last year’s ratios of 11 percent and 14 percent. Export value averaged $213.63 per head of fed slaughter, up about 6 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
September beef exports fall, pork remains steady