Little Change Expected in 2009 Meat Exports

USDA report sees increase in beef, reduction in pork.

The USDA May Meat Trade Report shows little change in meat exports for 2009 compared to 2008 exports. World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says beef exports in 2009 are set to increase more than 13%, based on the still pending but not yet implemented agreement to fully open beef trade with South Korea.

"We also increase our 2008 forecast because we do think that sometime this year Korea will return to the market given most recent agreements." Bange says.

While beef exports are increasing Bange says pork exports are expected to be down 7.5% from 2008, and developments in China are a major cause for that.

"Much of our export performance with regard to 2008 reflects the diseased animal situation in China and we expect that to be rectified some in 2009," Bange says. "Therefore we would expect to export less pork to China."

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