Exports of U.S. pork, beef and lamb set new records across the board in 2011, reaching all-time highs in both volume and value and exceeding $11.5 billion in total value, according to year-end statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Lamb exports totaled 18,343 metric tons valued at $30.08 million. This topped the previous record performance of 2006 when exports totaled 13,934 metric tons valued at $27.8 million. Compared to 2010, lamb export volume was up 72 percent and value increased 46 percent.
Pork exports in 2011 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 established in 2008. Year-over-year, pork exports were up 18 percent in volume and 28 percent in value.
For the year, pork exports equated to 27.5 percent of total production when including both muscle cuts and variety meat. In terms of muscle cuts only, exports totaled 23 percent of total production. This was up substantially from 23.7 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in 2010. Export value per head slaughtered was $55.55, an increase of 27 percent (nearly $12) from a year ago.
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 percent larger than in 2010, with value up 33 percent.
Beef export value per fed steer and heifer slaughtered was a record $206.37 in 2011, which was more than one-third higher than a year ago ($153.09).
Beef exports equated to 14 percent of total production when including both muscle cuts and variety meat. For muscle cuts only, exports totaled 11 percent of total production. In 2010, these ratios were 11.7 percent and 9 percent, respectively.