The lingering global economic slump and low prices for domestic beef products in key export markets contributed to declines in US exports in June, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).



Beef exports have declined two per cent in volume and six per cent in value for the first half of 2009, reaching 435,260 metric tons (959.6 million pounds) valued at almost $1.5 billion. For the month, beef export volumes slipped 13 per cent and the value fell 16 per cent.

The success of beef muscle cuts versus variety meat is the opposite of pork: beef muscle cut exports have increased four per cent over the first half of 2009 to 284,388 metric tons (almost 627 million pounds) valued at $1.2 billion – a 1 per cent increase over 2008. And for the month of June, beef muscle cuts increased 2.5 per cent in volume while the value slipped just over 4 per cent. This was the largest monthly beef muscle cut export volume since last October.

At the same time, U.S. beef variety meat exports are down 12 per cent in volume (150,872 metric tons or 332.6 million pounds) for the first six months of 2009 while the value of those exports has slipped 26 per cent to $275.8 million. For the month, exports of beef variety meat were down 40 per cent from last June.

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