Positive Trends in U.S. Pork and Beef Exports for 2009

The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently released numbers for 2009 pork and beef exports in the United States Despite a tough year worldwide, both industries experienced positive growth, creating great anticipation for 2010. 

The pork industry was down in exports compared to 2008 standards but the growth between 2007 and 2009 is noteworthy.  In the two years, pork exports are up 43 percent in volume and 37 percent in value with the volume leader of U.S. exports being Mexico. 

The industry’s most notable decline came from Hong Kong and Russia, as both expanded their own domestic production.  A second important factor in the 2009 decline was the mid year disruption of pork demand due to H1N1 influenza.  U.S. exports for pork and pork variety meat in 2009 equaled 22.5 percent of production values, just short of the 2008 24.8 percent production rate. 

U.S. beef exports showed growth in 2009 with particular strength gained in the Asian markets.  Yearly exports totals in Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and Hong Kong showed increases with South Korea being the only market down from 2008 values. 

Despite these strengthening numbers, overall exports decreased 9 percent in volume and 15 percent in value.  The majority of the decline came from Mexico’s low demand for beef with a 27 percent volume and 35 percent value decrease from 2008’s exports. 

 U.S. lamb exports experienced a 2 percent gain on 2008 numbers with year-end value of $21.9 million.  Market leaders included the Caribbean and Mexico, with the latter tripling 2008 values to $8.13 million in 2009.


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