Beef exports to Japan, Mexico and Canada in August, along with resurgent demand in Taiwan helped lift overall beef exports for the month by 5% in volume compared to the previous year and by16% in value, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Friday.

For the first eight months of 2012, beef exports are up 1% in volume and 10% in value.

The export value per head of fed slaughter for beef in August averaged $253.87, up $46.16 from last year. Beef exports accounted for 11% of muscle cuts and 13.6% of total production, both up roughly 1 percentage point.

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“Challenges appear in many forms, including market closures and disruptions, international competition and product oversupply,” explains Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “For example, while the U.S. has enjoyed impressive growth in beef exports to Hong Kong, we remain locked out of the fastest-growing beef market in the world – China. And pressure from our international competitors is a significant factor in other markets, as we see in Japan, the top value export market for pork in the world.”

USMEF officials note that Russia’s continued market closure to U.S. beef and pork products since February continues to hinder exports.

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