090205 US Meat Exports Holding Up

February 4, 2009

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says US red meat exports continued their strong pace through November, with beef exports up 9pc and pork up 20pc, compared to November 2007 numbers.

January through November beef exports were up 37pc with variety meat exports up 18pc.

Total beef exports were up 29pc and valued at US$3.37, an increase of 40pc.

2008 beef exports are on pace to reach 94pc of the 2003 export value.

So far, for the first 11 months of 2008, US pork and pork variety meat exports were 61pc larger than those of 2007, nearing the 2 million metric ton mark.

US's 2008 pork exports through 11 months were valued at $4.5 billion, an increase of 59pc.

According to Erin Daley, USMEF economist, global protein supplies remain tight, with the exception of a few situations in key countries where stocks of imported red meat are weighing on the market, specifically in Korea and China.

But, the bottom line, according to Daley, is that, regardless of the global economic situation, people have to eat.

US beef and pork prices remain lower than they were during the northern summer.

This, however, has helped US beef exports remain price competitive in export markets against major exporters, such as Australia, offsetting the impact of increased strength of the US dollar.