U.S. beef exports up 19 percent in volume, 30 percent in value | TSLN.com

U.S. beef exports up 19 percent in volume, 30 percent in value

U.S. beef exports (including variety meat) for Jan.-Oct. increased 19 percent in volume to 639,549 mt and 30 percent in value to $2.172 billion. Beef muscle cut exports increased 26 percent over the first 10 months of 2006 to 385,724 mt valued at $1.24 billion (up 34 percent).

Mexico is still the largest market for U.S. beef with a three percent increase in value to $993.44 million (including variety meat) despite a three percent decline in volume to 298,407 mt. Exports to Mexico in October increased 17 percent over October 2006 and totaled 35,810 mt. Exports to Canada, the No. 2 market, increased 34 percent to 106,353 mt valued at $486.53 million (up 37 percent) through October.

Japan remains the third largest market by value despite the 20-month age restriction, with exports reaching 39,775 mt valued at $206.28 million. October exports totaled more than 4,000 mt despite the seasonal reduction in eligible cattle.

Exports to the Middle East increased 11 percent to 80,530 mt valued at $91.4 million. Although the majority of this volume was liver bound for Egypt, beef muscle cut exports to the UAE increased by 70 percent to 2,270 mt and beef muscle cut exports to the region totaled 5,705 mt.

Dubai is now considered the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa, with significant potential for high quality U.S. beef. The bulk of U.S. beef distributed in the UAE goes to upper-end restaurants and world-class hotels. Tenderloin and rib eye steaks are among the most demanded U.S. beef cuts. Striploin, sirloin, chuck, roast beef, franks and sausages are still making headway into the retail sector.

Even though South Korea was only open to U.S. beef for a few intermittent months, it is currently the fifth largest market with exports at 25,055 mt for Jan.-Oct. Exports to Taiwan fell two percent to 17,904 mt, but remain 15 percent above 2003 export volume. Exports to the Caribbean increased by 14 percent to 15,533 mt with Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic as the largest markets. Exports to the ASEAN increased by an impressive 180 percent to 12,493 mt, with Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore as the largest markets.

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Exports to Hong Kong also increased by 283 percent totaling 7,787 mt despite the strict boneless LT30 protocol. Beef exports to the EU increased 129 percent to 6,270 mt with about half the exports going to the Netherlands followed by Italy and Germany as the largest markets.

Beef plus beef variety meat exports to Central and South America increased 56 percent to 7,286 mt, with Peru, Guatemala, and Honduras as the largest markets. Peru is the largest variety meat market, primarily livers, while Guatemala is the largest muscle cut market in the region.