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 the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), pork exports of 164,000 metric tons (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 96,578 metric tons (212.9 million pounds), while the value in June was up 37 percent to $377.6 million.
For the first six months of the year, pork exports were 3 percent above their year-ago pace in terms of volume (951,803 metric tons or 2.1 billion pounds). But with much-improved pork prices, export value was nearly 10 percent higher at $2.35 billion. This is slightly higher than the value reached in the first half of 2008 ($2.32 billion), the year in which pork export value set an all-time record.
Export value per head during the six-month period was more than $44 - up significantly from $39.20 in 2009. The industry exported 24 percent of its total production, compared to 23 percent last year.
Beef export volume reached 495,443 metric tons (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.
(Note: Export totals include both muscle cuts and variety meat, unless otherwise indicated.)