Demand for U.S. beef in Mexico continues to rebound, as exports through June were 8 percent higher in volume (126,309 metric tons) and 25 percent higher in value ($474.3 million) than in 2010.

Canada was the value pacesetter in June with exports topping $96.6 million — a new monthly record. Cumulatively through June, exports to Canada were 23 percent higher than last year in terms of volume (87,334 metric tons) and 44 percent higher in value ($463.9 million).

June exports to Japan reached their highest monthly volume (17,626 metric tons) since 2003, pushing the 2011 total 50 percent higher in volume (77,298 metric tons) and 54 percent higher in value ($416.3 million).

Other key Asian markets for U.S. beef have cooled somewhat from the red-hot pace set earlier this year, but the results remain very encouraging.

Through June, exports to South Korea were 73 percent higher in volume (86,890 metric tons) than last year and 69 percent higher in value ($380.8 million).

Hong Kong was up 82 percent in volume (26,521 metric tons) and 109 percent in value ($117.3 million).

Another sparkling growth region for U.S. beef is Central and South America, where USMEF recently conducted a product showcase for U.S. red meat, bringing U.S. exporters to Panama City to meet with buyers from 11 different Latin American countries.

Through June, U.S. beef exports to the region were 51 percent higher in volume (12,795 metric tons) than last year and 71 percent higher in value ($35.2 million), led by strong growth in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala.

 “The response we saw at the product showcase in Panama was very encouraging,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice-president for global marketing. “What we saw there was a large contingent of buyers who weren’t just window-shopping. They came to buy, and we expect this event will lead to new business relationships and new sales of U.S. red meat.”