The United States regained the top spot as leading exporter of beef in 2011, Borror said. “Brazil has room for growth and a greater increase in per capita consumption than the United States. They also have increased consumption of poultry and pork.”

Australian beef export level remains flat in 2012; the United States is up 4 percent in value but down 11 percent in volume. “Higher price makes up the difference,” Borror said. “Brazil’s exports are up slightly.”

India, she added, shows strong growth with a potential 30 percent increase in exports. “Mexico is shipping record volumes, too, but that’s still a small amount.

“The United States is still the largest beef exporter in the world and also the largest importer.” Canada accounts for the largest percentage (35 percent) of beef brought into the United States.

She said the United States still has an edge with high quality beef with grain-fed versus mostly grass-fed beef from other competitors. The relatively weak U.S. dollar, compared to other currencies, helped move U.S. beef in 2011. “We lost some of that advantage in 2012, however. That’s why the value of U.S. beef exports is up while the volume is down.”

The Japanese yen has been very strong, making U.S. beef more affordable. “Other currencies remain weak,” she said.

But U.S. beef remains a bargain. “High quality, grain-fed beef is affordable.”

Exports are important since U.S. consumption is down. “U.S. combined red meat and poultry consumption in 2013 is expected to be 11percent less than in 2007. Demand outside the United States is stronger. We see a lot of potential for growth both in the United States and the world.”

Increased gross domestic product of developing countries will mean higher demand for meat, Borror says. “As incomes increase, beef demand grows.”

The Chinese factor could be huge. “The middle class in China is expected to exceed the total U.S. population by 2020. That will be a significant number of people with higher spending power.”