For the third consecutive year, Mexico led all markets in volume and value for U.S. beef and beef variety meats in 2006, reports the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Meanwhile, overall exports of U.S. beef and beef variety meats worldwide increased 39% in volume to 655,920 metric tons (mt) and 50% in value to $2.04 billion in 2006 compared to 2005. This was despite no market access to Korea, and limited access to Japan. In Mexico, the volume of U.S. beef products increased 32% to 371,087 mt and value jumped 33% to $1.17 billion over the 2005 figure.

For a breakdown of export statistics by market, click here: usmef.org/TradeLibrary/files/06_12_BVMPlus.pdf

Meanwhile, year-end numbers show U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports continued their record-breaking volume growth for a 15th year, totaling 1.26 million metric tons (mt), a 9% increase over 2005. Their value also increased 9%, reaching more than $2.86 billion.

And exports of U.S. lamb and mutton plus lamb variety meat increased 55% in volume in 2006 to 13,934 mt and 66% in value to $27.8 million over 2005.