Exports of U.S. pork and beef set new records in 2011, reaching all-time highs in both volume and value. According to year-end statistics released by U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, red meat exports exceeded $11.5 billion in total value last year.
Pork exports totaled 2.255 million metric tons valued at $6.11 billion, breaking the previous volume record of 2.052 million metric tons and shattering the value record of $4.88 billion, which were both set in 2008. Year-over-year, pork exports were up 18% in volume and 28% in value. (One metric ton = 2,204.622 pounds.)
Beef exports finished the year at 1.287 million metric tons valued at $5.42 billion. This broke the 2003 volume record of 1.274 million metric tons and easily surpassed the 2010 value record of $4.08 billion. Export volume was 21% larger than in 2010, with value up 33%.
“It is extremely gratifying to see all red meat exports reaching new heights, even with the various trade obstacles we still face across the world,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng.
While the record-breaking performance of 2011 is impressive, Seng believes USMEF and its industry partners have laid the groundwork for even greater success in the future.
“Demand for U.S. red meat has never been stronger, and we are well-positioned to build on this success,” he said.
Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc. also reported improved international meat sales by $697 million in 2011. The company posted beef sales abroad totaling $2.1 billion, with international pork sales of $1 billion. Beef sales abroad improved by $500 million and pork revenue jumped $197 million from 2010.