WASHINGTON -- Compared to other proteins, cattle and beef are the species most dramatically impacted by disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
. The drop reduced the U.S. share of beef exports by major traders from 18% to 3%. At the same time, U.S. beef imports last year were 14% higher than the record set in 2002, the report noted.
Meanwhile, U.S. pork exports have trended upwards and are likely to continue to do so, while pork imports have declined, the report said. U.S. pork exports are forecast to rise 21% this year to more than 2.6 billion pounds, marking the 14th consecutive annual record.
Imports are projected to decline by 8%, after falling 7% in 2004 from the previous year, the report said. Imports of lamb and mutton increased 8% in 2004 compared to the previous year, while lamb and mutton imports from Australia and New Zealand made up a growing share of total U.S. lamb meat consumption, at more than 45%, the report said.
Combined U.S. exports of broiler and turkey meat are expected to increase about 6% this year to 5.6 billion pounds, the report said. The forecast is based on the assumptions that disease-related limitations on U.S. poultry meat exports are relaxed, while limits on China's and Thailand's exports remain, and exports by Brazil do not undercut U.S. product.