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International Markets

International Markets
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International Markets Pages Offer Strategic Market Profiles, Latest Stats, News

How many metric tons of pork variety meat has the United States exported to Mexico this year? Are U.S. beef exports to the Middle East up or down in 2009? Why does Jamaica ban imports of U.S. pork?

Members can find the answers to these and other questions in the International Markets pages, which offer brief market overviews for beef and pork, the latest regional statistics for the individual markets and the latest USMEF news from the market.


There are opportunities in restaurants and hotels for U.S. beef and pork in markets such as, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore. Thanks in part to the USMEF Culinary Training program, chefs from all over the ASEAN region learn to cook with different U.S. meat cuts and increase U.S. beef and pork sales in their restaurants.


Nontraditional cuts, value-added and portion-control items have a strong potential for growth in the retail and foodservice sectors of the resort areas in the Caribbean. Price is a major consideration so USMEF works with chefs to demonstrate how a variety of cuts can be used profitably. U.S. beef holds the lion’s share of the import market and U.S. pork is highly regarded for its good quality.


In China and Hong Kong, macroeconomic fundamentals (per capita income growth, currency appreciation and per capita consumption increase) favor U.S. pork growth and U.S. beef’s return to the regional marketplace. Domestic pork supply shortages could open the door for U.S. pork producers in China, but there are many access issues to overcome.

Central and South America

The best market opportunities in Latin America are high quality grain-fed U.S. beef and pork in up-scale hotels and restaurants. Supermarkets have become more interested in U.S. beef and pork due to concentrated USMEF efforts. The CAFTA-DR FTA is providing duty-free access for a limited quantity of U.S. beef exports to Guatemala and Costa Rica – two of the largest import markets in the region. Thirty-three percent of all U.S. pork exports to the region are going to Honduras, and 18% are going to Guatemala as a result of the CAFTA-DR free trade agreement.


There is a growing net beef deficit in Europe because of high per capita beef consumption level and declining production. Although there are strict export requirements, more and more U.S. packers are expanding into Europe. U.S. pork as a consistent quality product is well suited to the EU processing industry which is periodically or seasonally short of certain products, particularly legs.


The Japanese market has historically been the largest market in the world for U.S. beef and beef variety meat. Since the reopening of the market (July 2006), USMEF has used its “We Care” campaign to regain consumer and trade confidence. Japan is the No. 1 market for U.S. pork and pork variety meat, buying 22 percent of all U.S. exports in 2008.

South Korea

U.S. beef officially reentered the Korean market on June 26, 2008, when the Korean government announced import protocols, and product began arriving in Korea in July. USMEF expects that U.S. beef will continue to regain market share and market access will improve as U.S. products make it through inspection without delay. Exports of U.S. pork to South Korea increased dramatically in 2008, although they fell in 2009. Significant increases in domestic pork prices and decreases in the value of the U.S. dollar have helped make U.S. pork more appealing.


Mexico is currently the No. 1 market for U.S. beef and pork (by volume) exports. USMEF increases consumer loyalty with retail programs, community efforts and education. USMEF also works to increase education of butchers in retail shops and meat department personnel to ensure U.S. meat is cut and marketed correctly.

Middle East

Business trends for U.S. beef in the Middle East are positive. U.S. beef exports have gained traction in this region with the success of livers in Egypt. More than 68,000 metric tons of U.S. beef variety meat have been exported to Egypt in 2009. The region is the third largest for U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports.


Before the ban on U.S. beef, Russia was the fifth largest importer of U.S. beef, in particular variety meats such as livers and hearts. The ban was finally lifted in October 2007 and product began flowing into the market in early 2008. Russia is the second largest pork importer in the world and the U.S. is gaining market share, with exports far in excess of the 57,500 metric tons U.S. quota.


With a low per capita consumption of beef and a small domestic cattle industry, Taiwan has the potential for strong growth in beef and beef variety meat imports. Taiwan is self-sufficient in pork and most pork consumed in Taiwan is domestic. After a 37 percent drop in 2007, U.S. pork (including variety meat) exports to Taiwan bounced back in 2008 with a 98 percent volume increase to 31,701 metric tons and a 115 percent rise in value to $52.9 million. The upward trend continued in 2009.