US Beef Trade Balance Tending Towards Exports Again

US - For the first eight months of 2013, the US beef trade balance is positive to the tune of almost 30,000 tonnes swt (534,181 tonnes exported against 504,575 tonnes imported), whereas over the same period last year, imports were slightly higher (United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service).
calendar icon 1 November 2013
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Meat & Livestock Australia

The last four months of 2012, however, were heavily weighted towards exports rather than imports, when product from Australia, Canada and NZ dropped off significantly.

Japan is the largest beef export destination for the US so far in 2013, with 147,890 tonnes swt exported through to August – already a higher volume than the 2012 total, largely due to the relaxing of import restrictions to beef from cattle under 30 months of age.

Similarly, US beef exports to Hong Kong to the end of August were higher than the total 2012 volume, at 66,856 tonnes swt.

Exports to Canada were also higher, up 14 per cent over the January-August period, to 91,519 tonnes swt.

The trade to Mexico has declined slightly, down six per cent, to 78,558 tonnes swt, while exports to Korea have reportedly been impacted by the increased trade to Japan, dropping 22 per cent, to 58,469 tonnes swt.

As at the end of August, NZ was the largest source of imported beef to the US, at 142,919 tonnes swt, up seven per cent year-on-year, largely due to a large cow cull early in the year. Australia was the second largest source over this period, with 133,115 tonnes swt, down 11 per cent on last year (more recent weekly import data shows that Australia is now the largest source, as at mid-October).

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