October 10, 2008

Pork exports sizzle, may set annual record

U.S. pork exports have sizzled this year, setting a record in the first half of the year and staying on pace to perhaps set a new all-time record, according to this report from the Nebraska Corn Board.

“More than 1 million metric tons of pork valued at more than $2 billion were exported from the U.S. in the first six months of this year,” said Mark Jagels, a farmer-director of the Nebraska Corn Board. Jagels said the high pace of exports has greatly supported hog prices. “A year ago, pork exports added about $28 to the value of a hog,” Jagels said, “but this year it’s $41 simply because exports have been such an important component of the markets.”

The Nebraska Corn Board pushes for pork exports by supporting the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which conducts activities and promotions that support U.S. pork and beef sales around the globe. This year, the Corn Board has $400,000 budgeted for USMEF activities.

USMEF assistant vice president John Hinners said U.S. meat exports are critical to today’s livestock industry. “Exports support the prices livestock producers receive for their product, which helps them remain viable,” he said. “This is important for rural communities, which benefit from livestock production.”

Speaking of pork - October is National Pork Month, a celebration that began in 1962. And if all this discussion on pork, or the photo, has made you hungry, check out some of these great recipes over at the Nebraska Pork Producers site. Just scroll down to the recipe finder. It's a good thing.

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