Pork export volume down 10% in April
Pork exports dipped in April while the volume of beef exports rose marginally, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said Thursday.
Pork plus pork variety meat exports declined 10 percent in volume compared to April 2008, but the drop in value was limited to about 4 percent, the federation said. For the first four months of the year, pork export volume (648,063 metric tons, or 1.43 billion pounds) is about 3 percent above the record pace of 2008, and the value has increased about 6 percent to nearly $1.5 billion.
April beef plus beef variety meat exports declined 1.4 percent in volume and 6 percent in value compared to last year. Through April, beef export volume increased 2 percent to 277,019 metric tons (610.7 million pounds) but declined slightly in value to $937 million.
'The good news is that in spite of the turmoil we saw in the latter part of the month, April pork exports were not down as much as had been predicted given the continued economic slump,' said Philip Seng, USMEF president and chief executive officer.
'The trade environment for beef was not directly impacted by A-H1N1 Influenza as much as it was for pork. But anytime consumer activity takes such a major hit, beef trade is likely to suffer. I believe U.S. beef will perform well this year, but we need to see an economic rebound in key markets like Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan, and the industry also needs expanded access in many of these markets so we can move a wider range of cuts,' he said.