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New Beef Exports Record Set

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Date: Monday, December 12, 2011

Per-head value of U.S. beef exports exceeds $200

October was another excellent month for U.S. beef exports, which were valued at $452 million for the month, pushing the 2011 total to a new annual record of $4.49 billion. This is 37 percent ahead of the then-record pace established during the first 10 months of 2010. 

“Establishing a new annual value record just 10 months into the year is an extraordinary accomplishment, and one that the U.S. beef industry should be very proud of,” said Philip Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, a beef checkoff contractor. “Sustaining an aggressive export pace is critical for maintaining and creating American jobs and a positive balance of trade.” 

October beef export volume was about 233.5 million pounds, or about 10 percent higher than October 2010, pushing the 10-month 2011 volume total of nearly 2.4 billion pounds a full 24 percent ahead of last year’s pace. 

For the month of October 2011, beef exports equated to 11 percent of beef muscle-cut production and 13.9 percent of total production, including variety meat. That was consistent with the year-to-date ratio, and is up from 9 percent of beef muscle cut production and 11.7 percent of beef plus beef variety meat production exported last year. Exports were valued at nearly $210 per head of fed slaughter in October, pushing the 2011 total to $202.82 per head -- nearly $50 per head higher than last year’s average of $153.09!

A few country-by-country highlights:

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
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