U.S. pork exports set record
The U.S. Meat Export federation said pork exports in April eclipsed the previous one-month record by nearly 12 percent to reach 175,640 metric tons (387.2 million pounds) of pork and pork variety meat valued at $391.5 million.
The previous record of 156,959 metric tons (346 million pounds) was set in February.
“U.S. pork has set export records for 16 consecutive years, and there’s no sign that the world’s appetite for U.S. pork is slackening one bit,” said Erin Daley, manager of research and analysis for the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Daley noted that for the first four months of 2008, exports accounted for 22 percent of total U.S. pork and pork variety meat production, versus 16.5 percent last year.
At the same time, the federation said beef exports jumped 31 percent in volume and nearly 39 percent in value in April 2008 over April 2007.
“Considering that South Korea and China are closed to U.S. beef and the Japanese market is severely limited, U.S. beef exports are rebounding at a healthy rate,” Daley said.
In April, the United States reached a deal to resume beef exports to Korea, reopening a market that had been closed after a case of “mad cow” disease was discovered in Washington state back in 2003.
But news of the deal has resulted in demonstrations in Korea, with one protest in Seoul just this Sunday drawing 40,000-80,000 demonstrators according to various estimates.