US - December US beef exports totaled 94,586 mt, down 6 per cent from a year ago and slightly lower than in November, while export value fell 21 per cent to $507.3 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
In 2015, beef exports were down 11 per cent from a year ago in volume to 1.07 million mt. Export value was $6.3 billion, 12 per cent below the 2014 record of $7.14 billion.
Beef exports accounted for 13 per cent of total 2015 production and 10 per cent for muscle cuts only – each down one percentage point from a year ago. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $277.87, down 7 per cent from the previous year’s record but still up 13 per cent from 2013.
“There is no question that 2015 was a challenging year for red meat exports, with several economic headwinds taking a toll,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO.
“But with production increasing in the year ahead in both the beef and pork industries, we cannot afford to dwell on these circumstances or back away from our commitment to the international markets.
"We must continue to find innovative ways to differentiate US products, win back market share and regain momentum for exports in 2016. That means aggressive pursuit of new customers and new opportunities, in both emerging and established markets.”
Korea, Taiwan, Caribbean main bright spots for 2015 beef exports
Fuelled by strong demand for chilled US beef in its retail and foodservice sectors, beef exports to South Korea increased 7 per cent year-over-year in volume (126,093 mt) while slipping 4 per cent in value ($810.4 million).
Korea’s imports of chilled US beef were up about 40 per cent in 2015, with US market share reaching 31 per cent.
Beef exports to Taiwan increased 4 per cent year-over-year in volume to 35,286 mt and set a new value record of $318.5 million (up 8 per cent). U.S. chilled beef market share in Taiwan is more than 60 per cent, the highest of any Asian destination.
Exports to the Caribbean increased 1 per cent year-over-year in volume (23,208 mt) and 7 per cent in value ($165.7 million) in 2015. Similar to pork, the value increase was driven in large part by strong demand in the Dominican Republic ($58.7 million, up 6 per cent), but double-digit increases were also achieved in the Bahamas ($24.6 million, up 11 per cent) and Jamaica ($16.5 million, up 10 per cent).
While Japan remained the leading value market for US beef in 2015, exports declined 15 per cent year-over-year in volume (204,927 mt) and 19 per cent in value ($1.28 billion, the lowest since 2012).
Japan imported less beef from all suppliers in 2015, but the US lost market share to Australia, due in part to the 10 percentage point tariff advantage enjoyed by Australian beef under its economic partnership agreement with Japan.
While the weak peso affected demand for US beef in Mexico, exports still topped the $1 billion mark for the second consecutive year ($1.09 billion, down 6 per cent).
Mexico reclaimed its position as the leading destination for beef variety meat exports, which increased 8 per cent in volume (110,085 mt) and 9 per cent in value ($290.3 million).
This helped offset a decline in variety meat exports to Egypt, which fell 15 per cent in volume (103,276 mt) but still achieved a 3 per cent increase in value ($148.6 million).
TheCattleSite News Desk