The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports that U.S. pork and beef exports finished the first half of 2010 with strong momentum. June was the shining star. Based on statistics released by USDA, USMEF says June pork exports of 164,000 metric tons were 24% higher than June 2009. Pork export value was $316.4 million, up 34%. Meanwhile, June beef exports were 25% above year-ago volumes, totaling 96,578 metric tons, while the value for the month was up 37% to $377.6 million.
For the first six months of the year, pork exports were 3% above their year-ago pace in terms of volume while export value was nearly 10% higher at $2.35 billion. Export value per head during the six-month period was more than $44, up significantly from $39.20 in 2009. The industry exported 24% of its total production, compared to 23% last year.
Beef export volume reached 495,443 metric tons, up 14% over the first half of 2009. Export value was up 22% 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% to 11%.
The United States continues to be the leading foreign supplier of pork to Japan, holding market share of about 45% for all imported pork and 72.5% of the high-value chilled market U.S. pork. USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng says the U.S. world market share has declined by about 2% since last year and the U.S. position of market leader absolutely cannot be taken for granted.
Beef exports to Mexico continue to trail previous years, trailing January-June 2009 totals by 24% in terms of both volume and value. But, exports to Mexico have shown recent signs of improvement. Canada, the No. 2 market, is also flat in terms of volume and 4% higher in value. Elsewhere, U.S. beef exports are on a very powerful roll. In South Korea, export volume is nearly double the pace of 2009 at 50,221 metric tons and up nearly 130% in value to $225 million.