May 11, 2012  |  Today's News

As a program to increase the value of the domestic livestock industry, Illinois corn farmer checkoff dollars are invested by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board in the U.S. Meat Export Federation. It makes sense to add value to domestic livestock since that industry is a major customer of corn. Here’s some information on the latest meat export data as provided by the USMEF.


Editor’s notes:
- Export statistics refer to both muscle cuts and variety meat unless otherwise noted
- One metric ton = 2,204.622 pounds

U.S. pork exports finished the first quarter 8 percent higher in volume (598,058 metric tons) and 20 percent higher in value ($1.66 billion) than last year’s record pace, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by USMEF.

At the same time, the value of beef exports for the quarter rose 4 percent (to $1.25 billion) on 10 percent lower volumes (266,388 metric tons).

March pork export volume of 198,972 metric tons was 8 percent lower than a year ago, but up 6 percent from February 2012. Export value of $570.5 million was 3 percent higher than last year and up 8 percent from the previous month. These results were led by excellent growth in the China/Hong Kong region and by strong performance in Mexico, Japan and Canada.

Beef export volume in March of 89,803 metric tons was 23 percent lower than last year but up 3 percent from February. March export value of $438.5 million was down 8 percent year-over-year but was 7 percent higher than the previous month.

“A 20 percent increase in pork export value for the first quarter is extraordinary, especially considering the record performance of last year,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “On the beef side, market access issues and price sensitivity are making volume growth difficult in some markets, but we are pleased to see export value remaining above last year’s record pace, even on smaller volumes.”