October pushed U.S. pork and beef exports to record annual numbers, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Pork exports set a new all-time monthly value record at $573.9 million (up 41% from last year), which pushed the cumulative value through October to a new annual record of $4.93 billion – breaking the previous high of $4.88 billion in 2008 – with two months to spare.
Beef export value for October was $452 million, pushing the 2011 total to a new annual record of $4.49 billion. This is 37% ahead of the then-record pace established in the first 10 months of 2010.
"Establishing new annual value records just 10 months into the year is an extraordinary accomplishment, and one that the U.S. pork and beef industries should be very proud of," says USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. "Sustaining an aggressive export pace is critical for maintaining and creating American jobs and a positive balance of trade."
In addition to setting a new value record, pork export volume for October was also very strong at 200,725 metric tons – 24% higher than last year and the second-largest volume total ever. Through October, 2011 export volume is 17% ahead of last year's pace at 1.8 million metric tons.
October exports equated to 24% of pork muscle cut production and 27% when including both muscle cuts and variety meat. For January through October, these ratios were 23% and 27%, respectively, compared to 19% and 24% last year. October exports equated to $58.42 per hog slaughtered, bringing the 2011 total to $54.68. This compares to $42.26 in October 2010 and $43.72 for all of last year.
China was the largest volume market for U.S. pork in October at 48,678 metric tons, more than double the year-ago volume and setting another monthly record. Through October, exports to the China/Hong Kong region were up 60% to 361,690 metric tons, valued at $654.4 million (up 82%).
Strong October exports to Japan further solidified its position as the leading value market for U.S. pork. Through October, export volume to Japan reached 410,057 metric tons (up 14% over last year) valued at a remarkable $1.62 billion. This value total is 19% higher than last year's pace and rapidly approaching a new all-time value record ($1.65 billion set in 2010).
October beef export volume was 105,912 metric tons. This was 10% higher than October 2010 and pushed the 2011 volume total (1.073 million metric tons) 24% ahead of last year's pace.
October beef exports equated to 11% of beef muscle cut production and 13.9% of total production when including variety meat, which was consistent with the year-to-date ratio. This compares to 9% of beef muscle cut production and 11.7% of beef plus beef variety meat production exported last year.
Exports equated to nearly $210 per head of fed slaughter in October, pushing the 2011 total to $202.82 per head. This is nearly $50 per head higher than last year's average of $153.09.
Canada held its position as the top value market for U.S. beef in the first 10 months of 2011 at $861.9 million (a new annual record), up 46% over the 2010 pace. Volume for the year is up nearly 30% to 159,396 metric tons, also a new record. October results were impressive, with a volume of 14,175 metric tons valued at just under $74 million.