New statistics from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) shows that the U.S. meat industry continues to have success with exports seeing double digit growth in 2008.
According to the figures, the industry saw 12 percent of its production being exported last year - an increase from the 8 percent exported in 2007.
"The international marketplace clearly offers the U.S. beef producer the greatest potential for demand growth," said Cattlemen's Beef Board member Robert Fountain, Jr. "And our beef checkoff - often leveraged with funding from other sources, including USDA foreign market development programs - is helping us increase consumer confidence in U.S. beef around the globe."
The numbers also showed that the price per head of U.S. livestock rose with the industry seeing $133.84 in 2008, up from $95.21 the year prior.
The two largest importers of U.S. meat products continued to be its north and south neighbors with Mexico bringing in the most product at 873.2 million pounds worth about $1.4 million. Canada was a distant second with 341.3 million pounds exported worth $715.6 million.
"It remains to be seen what will happen with COOL regulations and the impact on our live animal and meat trade with our neighbors to the north and south," said USMEF economist Erin Daley.