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Beef Exports Up, Pork Stable in August

30 October 2013

US - A strong performance by the top three international markets kept US beef exports on an upward path in August while sales to China and several up-and-coming markets helped pork exports stay nearly even with last year’s record-setting pace, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef sales to Japan, Mexico and Canada all posted solid gains in August along with a resurgent Taiwan market as overall US beef exports grew 5 per cent in volume and 16 per cent in value compared to year-ago levels, reaching 105,544 metric tons valued at $563.3 million. For the first eight months of 2012, beef exports are up 1 per cent in volume and 10 per cent in value to 767,017 metric tons valued at $4.01 billion.

Pork exports were bolstered by the largest sales to the China/Hong Kong region since February, as well as strong performances by the Central/South America and ASEAN regions. Total exports for August were down a fraction in volume (174,281 metric tons) but up 1 per cent in value ($501.1 million), while 2013 totals were down 4.6 per cent in volume (1,405,078 metric tons) and 4.5 per cent in value ($3.94 billion).

The continued absence of the Russian market – closed to US beef and pork products since February – continues to hinder exports. Excluding Russia, US pork exports to all other markets are only down 1 per cent this year, while beef exports are up 8 per cent in volume and 16 per cent in value.

“Challenges appear in many forms, including market closures and disruptions, international competition and product oversupply,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “For example, while the United States has enjoyed impressive growth in beef exports to Hong Kong, we remain locked out of the fastest-growing beef market in the world – China. And pressure from our international competitors is a significant factor in other markets, as we see in Japan, the top value export market for pork in the world.”

Per-head export values remain strong

Both pork and beef exports produced solid per-head values in August. The export value per head of fed slaughter for beef in August averaged $253.87, up $46.16 from last year. For pork, per-head totals were $52.43, up from $49.84 last year. Pork exports accounted for 21 per cent of muscle cut production and 25 per cent of total production (including variety meat) in August, similar to last year. Beef exports accounted for 11 per cent of muscle cuts and 13.6 per cent of total production, up roughly 1 per centage point for each.

Top pork markets

Mexico and Japan remain the top two markets for US pork exports in 2013. Coming off double-digit increases in each of the past four months, exports to Mexico, the top volume market, slowed slightly in August, but volume remains up 1 per cent for the year at 396,605 metric tons and value is up 3 per cent to $747.5 million.

Top value market Japan dipped 14 per cent in volume and 10 per cent in value in August. Totals for 2013 stand at 284,970 metric tons valued at $1.26 billion, down 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.

A rebound in exports to China/Hong Kong in August (up 28.7 per cent in volume to 39,202 metric tons valued at $83.2 million, a 37.5 per cent increase) helped bring year-to-date totals to 278,253 metric tons (down 2 per cent) valued at $592.1 million (up 4 per cent).

Other top-performing pork markets in August include:

  • Central/South America: up 26 per cent in volume (9,011 metric tons) and 27 per cent in value ($22.2 million) – exports to Chile jumped 276 per cent in volume (1,820 metric tons) and 197 per cent in value ($4.3 million) while exports to the largest market in the region, Colombia, were up 30 per cent in volume and value (2,531 metric tons and $6.5 million)

  • ASEAN region: up 38 per cent in volume (5,734 metric tons) and 55 per cent in value ($14.3 million) – paced by Singapore’s 175 per cent increase in volume (1,958 metric tons) and 263 per cent jump in value ($5.4 million) and growth to the largest market in the region: the Philippines up 18 per cent in volume (3,744 metric tons) and value up 30 per cent ($8.8 million)

Top beef markets

The top three export markets for US beef all performed well in August. USMEF’s continued efforts to capitalize on expanded access for American beef in Japan helped sustain growth which amounted to a 36.5 per cent hike in volume (24,009 metric tons) and 13.3 per cent in value ($135.1 million) in August. For the year, US exports to Japan are up 53 per cent in volume (166,884 metric tons) and 38 per cent in value ($990.9 million).

Totals for Mexico in August rose 11.2 per cent in volume: 20,208 metric tons valued at $88.9 million, a 24 per cent jump, which helped year-to-date totals that are down 7 per cent in volume and 5 per cent in value (130,897 metric tons valued at $559.7 million).

Exports to Canada continued their positive trend, up 9.3 per cent in volume (15,355 metric tons) and 7.6 per cent in value ($104.6 million). Yearly totals are up 8 per cent in volume (119,896 metric tons) and 12 per cent in value ($825.5 million).

Other top-performing beef markets in August included:

  • Hong Kong: up 67 per cent in volume (11,904 metric tons) and 142 per cent in value ($78.2 million)

  • South Korea: up 35.8 per cent in value ($47.8 million) on slightly (2.6 per cent) lower volume of 7,646 metric tons

  • Taiwan: up 578 per cent in volume (3,092 metric tons) and 684 per cent in value ($24.9 million) as the rebuilding of the US beef market there continues since technical issues regarding feed additives were partially resolved late last year.

  • Central/South America: up 13 per cent (3,747 metric tons) in volume and 24 per cent in value ($14.7 million), led by strong growth to Chile: up 37.7 per cent in volume (1,139 metric tons) and 43.1 per cent in value ($6.6 million)

TheCattleSite News Desk



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