Exports of beef, pork jump in first quarter

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN STAFF
There was a time when U.S. livestock producers looked with envy at the

global opportunities for grain growers.



But times have changed.



Total beef exports in March were up 9 percent from a year ago,

resulting in a very strong beef export total for the first quarter of

2000, said James Mintert, agricultural economist with K-State Research

and Extension.



USDA data showed that beef shipped to all major U.S. beef customers

increased this March, compared with March 1999.



?For example, beef shipments to Japan rose 5 percent and shipments to

Mexico jumped 28 percent,? Mintert said. Shipments to South Korea rose

10 percent.



?In the short term, export prospects look good, although Mexico?s

recent announcement that it plans to impose tariffs on ungraded beef?a

large component of U.S. beef shipments to Mexico?could cause U.S.

shipments to decline until the trade dispute is resolved,? Mintert

said.



U.S. pork exports also have jumped dramatically, with total pork

exports up 25 percent over year-ago amounts in March, he said.



Pork exports to all major customers rose, with shipments to Mexico

surging 140 percent. Japan?s exports were 11 percent over year-earlier

levels in March. Sales to Canada were up 10 percent.



?Pork exports to Russia, however, declined precipitously following

receipt of a large food aid package in late 1999 and early 2000,?

Mintert noted.



Export prospects for the rest of 2000 are bright, according to

Mintert, as long as consumers? disposable incomes continue to grow in

major im

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