Beef Muscle Cuts Lead February Export Advances

US - US beef exports grew in February, with strong expansion in muscle cuts leading the way in both, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
calendar icon 15 April 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The monthly value of total US beef exports (muscle cuts and variety meat) jumped 14.5 per cent compared to one year ago to reach $252.5 million, while tonnage climbed 8.6 per cent to 71,843 metric tons (158.4 million pounds).

“There are solid signs of progress in key markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “And that means positive growth in profitability for US producers.”

Beef exports remained steady at 10 per cent of production but the value edged up to $123 per head of steer and heifer slaughter from $119 in January.

Beef export markets diversify

Overall beef exports for the first two months of 2010 are up a solid nine per cent in volume to 144,439 metric tons (318.4 million pounds) valued at $500.5 million – a 10 per cent increase. Importantly, these gains are coming as the United States’ No. 1 destination for beef exports, Mexico, continues to suffer from the economic downturn. In January and February, Mexico purchased 39,364 metric tons (86.8 million pounds) of US beef valued at $123.9 million – a 23 per cent drop in volume and a 31 per cent drop in value versus the first two months of 2009.

“We’re responding to a greater diversification in the beef markets,” said Mr Seng. “We are continuing to focus considerable resources in Mexico on programs that include meat buyer and retailer training, marketing and educational efforts for consumers, and we are confident that this market will rebound as Mexico’s economy recovers. Of course, we are simultaneously pursuing opportunities in other markets to help offset this temporary downturn.”

Mexico accounted for 38.6 per cent of the volume of US beef exports in the first two months of 2009 compared to 27.3 per cent so far this year. The Mexican peso spent most of January and February at around 13 pesos to the dollar but the peso has strengthened through March and is now closer to 12 pesos to the dollar, helping to make US beef more affordable.

Despite the fall in exports to Mexico, US beef exports increased in the first two months of 2010 because of markets like:

  • Canada – the No. 2 beef export market is up 19 per cent in volume to 21,624 metric tons (47.7 million pounds) for the first two months of the year. Values are up 27 per cent to $92.7 million.

  • Middle East – led by Egypt, the Middle East is up 28 per cent in volume to 15,267 metric tons (33.7 million pounds) valued at $25.3 million, a 50 per cent jump. “The Middle East continues to grow as a top destination for US beef muscle cuts,” said Mr Daley, noting that the region imported 5,488 metric tons (12.1 million pounds) valued at $14.9 million, an increase of 162 per cent in volume and 79 per cent in value.

  • Japan – total beef exports are up 45 per cent in volume to 11,660 metric tons (25.7 million pounds) valued at $58.6 million – a 35 per cent jump. “Even with market access limitations and months of short supply of cattle less than 21 months of age, Japan continues to be a significant growth market,” said Mr Daley.

  • Russia – 6,495 metric tons of beef (14.3 million pounds), a 63 percent increase, valued at $11.2 million, a 236 percent spike compared to 2009. Muscle cut exports were 1,270 metric tons, up from just 109 metric tons last year. Mr Daley notes that current data show five consecutive weeks of muscle cut exports exceeding 700 metric tons (1.5 million pounds) per week, with strong exports expected to continue. As further evidence of recovery in Russian demand, Australia’s exports to Russia were up 79 per cent in the first quarter of 2010.

  • Taiwan – volumes are up 109 per cent to 5,750 metric tons (12.7 million pounds) valued at $30.8 million, a 132 per cent jump. “The US is dominating Taiwan’s high-value beef market, accounting for more than three-quarters of Taiwan’s chilled beef imports,” said Mr Daley. Imports from the US accounted for 46 per cent of Taiwan’s total first-quarter beef imports on a value basis, according to Taiwan’s import data. USMEF has worked aggressively on the relaunch of US bone-in beef and to reassure consumers of the safety of US beef.

  • Greater China plus Vietnam – the third-largest market for US beef muscle cuts this year, growing 36 per cent in volume and 38 per cent in value to 15,227 metric tons (33.6 million pounds) valued at $54 million. February exports of 9,082 metric tons (20 million pounds) of muscle cuts alone set a new record, making the region the second-largest volume destination for US beef for the month. Variety meat exports to the region are negligible.


TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.