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U.S. Red Meat Exports Up in 2006

Pork broke its export volume record for the 15th straight year, beef rebounded, and lamb exports rose as well.

Exports were up for U.S. red meat in 2006, the U.S. Meat Export Foundation reports.

Pork and pork variety meat export volume was up 9% over 2005, making 2006 its 15th straight record-breaking year, and value increased 9% as well, to over $2.86 billion. Japan remained the top market in value for U.S. pork with a value of $1.04 billion, despite a 4% drop in value from 2005. Mexico led all markets in volume of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports.

U.S. beef and beef variety meat export volume went up 39% in 2006 and 50% in value to $2.04 billion in 2006 as more export markets opened.

"Export volume outpaced our forecast by 3 percent and this growth occurred without market access to Korea, and limited access to Japan," says Erin Daley, USMEF manager, research and analysis. "Looking at countries with full market access, in other words exclude Korea, Japan Russia and Hong Kong/China, U.S. beef export volumes in 2006 were 16.5 percent higher than 2003, prior to the BSE case."

Lamb and mutton exports rose 55% in volume and 66% in value to $27.8 million in 2006, with the largest amount and value ($10.9 million) going to Mexico. Canada and the Caribbean were the next largest markets.

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