U.S. pork and beef exports through July are down amid the global economic downturn and lingering effects from the H1N1 flu outbreak, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
The most recent statistics, released by USDA and compiled by USMEF, show pork exports of 1.08 million metric tons (2.38 billion pounds) valued at $2.53 billion. While these totals are a respective 10 percent and 9 percent below last year’s record-shattering pace, they are still 53 percent higher in volume and 48 percent higher in value than in January-July 2007.
Beef exports of 512,053 metric tons, valued at $1.94 billion, were 6 percent lower than last year’s volume and reflected a 10 percent drop in value, primarily due to lagging global demand for beef variety meat. Beef muscle cut exports of 338,217 metric tons slightly exceeded last year’s volume and trailed in value ($1.45 billion compared with $1.48 billion) by only 2 percent.
H1N1 has put a damper on U.S. pork exports in several key markets, including China. Pork exports to China already had slowed before Beijing instituted a ban in early May.