Export figures recently released by USDA show U.S. beef exports are beginning the decade with new records, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

"Although U.S. prices were relatively high in 2000, U.S. beef exports rose 10 percent in volume and 11 percent in value over 1999, a remarkable industry achievement," says Philip Seng, USMEF president and chief executive officer.

The U.S. beef industry exported 1,225,344 metric tons (mt) of beef and beef variety meats in 2000, topping 1999 by 10 percentage points. U.S. beef exports were worth more than $3.5 billion in 2000, an 11 percent increase over 1999.

Among Japanese retailers and foodservice companies, U.S. chilled beef products have steadily gained a reputation for excellent palatability, Seng says. "U.S. frozen beef is in demand for thin meats for the burgeoning beef bowl and Korean-style barbecue markets."

Seng also points out that: "All the leading markets for U.S. beef exports purchased more U.S. beef products in 2000 than in 1999. Consumption is rising, but our exports are rising at a higher rate. The world has recovered from the 1998 currency crisis, and most developing countries had a positive growth rate, although many of the world’s economies remain fragile. Beef production is declining in countries without a large forage basis. Beef and pork production is easier in large, less densely populated countries such as the United States."

All of the beef export statistics for 2000 are available at .

For more about beef exports, check out the following just-food.com stories.

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