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Pork, lamb exports record-large; Beef exports also strong U.S. pork exports set another monthly

volume record in November, according to statistics released by USDA and com- piled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which helped offset record- high production and provide a signifi- cant boost to pork cutout values. Exports totaled 217,080 metric tons

valued at $597.85 million — up 22.5% and 35%, respectively, over November 2010. This boosted the January- November volume total to 2.04 million metric tons (up 18% year-over-year) and the value total to $5.526 billion (up 27%). This puts U.S. pork export value, which had never reached $5 billion before this year, on pace to approach the $6 billion mark in 2011. November pork exports equated to

nearly 29% of total production (includ- ing variety meat). In terms of muscle cuts only, exports still totaled 24% of total production. Export value per head slaughtered set a new monthly record at $59.98, which was $15 higher than a year ago. For January through November, the percentage of total production exported equated to 27%, or 23% when including only muscle cuts. This compares to 23.7% and 19% for the same period in 2010. Export value for the year averaged $55.21 per head, compared to $43.72 per head a year ago. U.S. pork continues to perform remarkably well in Japan, with

November results up 6% in volume and 17% in value over a year ago. For January-November, exports to Japan totaled 451,509 metric tons, nearly matching the 2008 volume record of 451,853 metric tons. Export value reached $1.79 billion, easily setting a new record and setting the stage for a year-end value total that could threaten the $2 billion mark. November exports were also bol-

stered by strong results in the China/Hong Kong region, which set another monthly record at 66,993 metric tons valued at $140.2 million. For the year, export volume to this region was up 68% to 428,683 metric tons and export value nearly doubled to $794.6 million. Pork exports to South Korea contin-

ued to build on a record year, with November results up 62% in volume to 11,673 metric tons and more than double in value to $35.6 million. For the year, exports to Korea have soared by 126% in volume (172,791 metric tons) and 176% in value ($453.7 million). Mexico remains the leading volume

destination for U.S. pork. Export value for the year ($925.3 million) was up 4% from 2010’s record pace, and by year’s end may break $1 billion for the first time. November results pushed pork exports to Canada to new record totals in both volume (188,250 metric tons, up 14%) and value ($673.8 million, up 20%).

Other markets that have topped their previous records in 2011 include Australia (58,631 metric tons valued at $187.8 million) and Central-South America (66,352 metric tons valued at $171.3 million). U.S. lamb export value reached $27.76

million through November, up 49% from a year ago and just edging the previous annual record of $27.75 million (set in 2006) with a month remaining in the year. Lamb exports had already topped their previous high in volume, but strong November results pushed export volume for the year to 16,958 metric tons (up 79% from a year ago). Strong performance in Mexico and

Canada accounted for much of this growth, but results have also been solid in Central America, the Middle East and the southeastern Caribbean islands. November beef exports also per-

formed well, reaching 105,268 metric tons valued at $456.25 million. This was steady with the October 2011 volume and up slightly in value. On a year-over- year basis, November exports were up 4% in volume and 17% higher in value from the very strong totals recorded in November 2010. This boosted the January-November export total 22% higher in volume than a year ago to 1.179 million metric tons, and up 35% in value to $4.944 billion. When December results become available, beef export

value will eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever. November beef exports equated

to 14% of total production when including variety meat, or 11% for muscle cuts only. This was consistent with the 2011 average but up signifi- cantly from the 2010 ratios of 11.7% for total production and 9% for muscle cuts. November exports equat- ed to $219.73 per head of fed slaughter, up $41.50 from a year ago. For January-November, export value averaged $204.27 per head — more than $50 higher than the previous year’s average. Beef exports to Canada posted

another strong month, solidifying it as the leading value destination for 2011 and ensuring a $1 billion performance by year’s end. Mexico is still the vol- ume leader for U.S. beef exports, despite a slight slowdown in volume in November. Japan was the leading value destina-

tion for U.S. beef in November at $85.3 million, up nearly 40% from a year ago. November exports to South Korea, Hong Kong and the Middle East were all lower than a year ago, but all of these markets were still up solidly for the year. In fact, Hong Kong and the Middle East had already set new annual volume and value records in October.

 34 Livestock • Ohio’s Country Journal • • February 2012

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