A very solid June performance allowed U.S. pork and beef exports to finish the first half of 2010 with strong momentum. According to statistics released by USDA and compiled by USMEF, pork exports of 361.6 million pounds were 24 percent higher than June 2009. Pork export value was $316.4 million, up 34 percent. June beef exports were 25 percent above year-ago volumes, totaling 212.9 million pounds while the value in June was up 37 percent to $377.6 million.
Beef export volume reached 1.09 billion pounds – up 14 percent over the first half of 2009. Export value has fared even better, rising 22 percent to $1.83 billion. Export value per steer and heifer slaughtered was $139, compared to less than $115 last year. The percentage of total production exported increased from 10 percent to 11 percent.
One drag on U.S. export markets in the first half of the year is Cuba. U.S. exports to Cuba dropped 28 percent for the first six months of 2010, to roughly $220 million, due to severe economic problems on the island nation, according to the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council.