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January Exports Show Solid Start to 2018 for US Beef

09 March 2018

US - January exports of US beef were significantly higher than the large totals of a year ago while pork exports were steady in volume and increased in value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.

Beef exports totaled 105,486 metric tons (mt) in January, up 9 per cent year-over-year, while export value surged 21 per cent to $624.4 million.

Exports accounted for 12.4 per cent of total beef production in January, up slightly from a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported increased from 9.5 per cent to 10.1 per cent.

Beef export value averaged $293.06 per head of fed slaughter, up 14 per cent year-over-year.

For muscle cuts only, beef exports reached 80,495 mt (up 15 per cent) valued at $555.7 million (up 23 per cent). 

Beef variety meat volume fell 5 per cent to just under 25,000 mt, but value increased 7 per cent to $68.8 million.

"January export results were solid overall and were especially strong for muscle cuts," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.

"Despite the decline in variety meat volume, export value continued to increase. This underscores the important contribution variety meats deliver for producers and for everyone in the US supply chain."

Asian markets continue to shine for US beef

US beef continued to gain momentum in the Japanese market, with January exports increasing 7 per cent from a year ago in volume (23,968 mt) and 19 per cent in value ($148.6 million).

This included a 30 per cent increase in chilled beef exports to 12,411 mt, valued at $92.4 million (up 38 per cent).

Frozen exports declined 13 per cent in volume (8,141 mt) but increased slightly in value ($33.1 million).

Frozen US beef entering Japan is subject to a 50 per cent safeguard tariff, which is scheduled to revert back to 38.5 per cent on 1 April, the beginning of the new Japanese fiscal year.

Benefiting from a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, frozen beef from Australia is subject to a duty of 27.2 per cent. This rate will decline to 26.9 per cent on 1 April.

Other January highlights for US beef included:

  • Exports to South Korea, which reached a record $1.2 billion in 2017, increased 13 per cent from a year ago to 17,133 mt, while export value soared 34 per cent to $122.3 million. This included a 54 per cent increase in chilled beef exports to 3,954 mt, valued at $36.9 million, up 63 per cent. Through the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), the duty on US beef was reduced to 21.3 per cent on 1 January, about 5 percentage points lower than Australia’s rate for this year and down significantly from the pre-KORUS rate of 40 per cent.

  • Following large shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017, exports to Hong Kong slowed in January, but still easily exceeded last year’s totals, increasing 41 per cent from a year ago in volume (10,493 mt) and 53 per cent in value ($79.8 million). Exports to China, which resumed in June after a 13-year absence, hit a new monthly high of 819 mt in January valued at $7.5 million.

  • Exports to Taiwan posted impressive gains in January, increasing 17 per cent in volume to 4,207 mt. Export value increased 41 per cent to $42 million.

  • Led by solid gains in Indonesia and Vietnam, exports to the ASEAN region climbed 22 per cent in volume (3,108 mt) and 13 per cent in value ($15.9 million).

  • Strong results in Chile and Colombia fueled beef exports to South America, which increased 90 per cent in volume (3,307 mt) and 65 per cent in value ($13.9 million).

  • Exports to Central America jumped 40 per cent in volume (1,082 mt) and 32 per cent in value ($5.9 million), led by a strong performance in Guatemala and larger variety meat shipments to El Salvador.

  • Beef exports to Africa were mostly variety meat in 2017, but January produced a large increase in muscle cut exports to Angola and South Africa. As a result, total exports to Africa were up 19 per cent in volume (954 mt) and surged 88 per cent in value to $1.4 million.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock



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