According to the February trade data, U.S. beef exports were down 8% from a year ago, but were still nearly 16% above 2010’s. Large year-over-year export declines were reported for South Korea (down 38%), followed by Mexico (down 10%), Canada (down 9%), and Japan (down 7%). However, U.S. beef exports to China, Russia, and Vietnam were above a year ago. Mexico was the largest market on a tonnage basis; Japan was the second largest beef export market in February surpassing Canada. During February, U.S. beef imports jumped 22% from 2011’s low levels; which was more than expected. Still, when compared to 2010 that increase was a more modest 2%.
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