Record US Beef-Export Value for October

US - October 2014 beef exports were up two per cent year-on-year to 242.2 million pounds and export value reached a record-high $687.1 million – up 22 per cent from a year ago.
calendar icon 12 December 2014
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The volume of muscle-cut exports was down two per cent to 168.6 million pounds, but still increased 19 per cent in value to $596.5 million, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a contractor to the beef checkoff.

Strong variety meat exports helped offset lower volumes for beef muscle cuts in October. For the month, variety-meat exports increased 14 pe rcent in volume to 73.6 million pounds and an impressive 39 per cent in value to $90.6 million.

For the first 10 months of 2014, beef export volume was up three per cent year-on-year to more 220 million pounds, and export value reached $5.87 billion – 15 per cent ahead of last year’s record pace.

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said that while the slowdown in muscle cut volumes is concerning, October results were solid overall.

“Although global demand for beef muscle cuts remains strong, the US industry is facing some headwinds,” Mr Seng said. “Lower slaughter numbers have impacted available supply, and the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen relative to the currencies of a number of our key competitors and import customers.”

Seng added that the October results serve as a reminder of the importance of variety meat exports to the US meat and livestock industries.

“Strong demand for variety meat is very positive news for the industry, because these products contribute significantly to the profitability of US producers,” Mr Seng said. “USMEF has also heightened the focus on alternative muscle cuts in many of our educational workshops and seminars. Familiarizing buyers with these economically priced cuts has been helpful in addressing price and exchange rate concerns.”

Japan, Korea, Hong Kong drive beef export growth

October beef exports represented 15 per cent of total production and 11 per cent of muscle-cut production, compared to 13.5 per cent and 11 percent, respectively, a year ago. For January through October, exports equated to 14 per cent of total production and 11 per cent for muscle cuts (up from 13 per cent and 10 per cent).

The value of beef exports per head of fed slaughter was $321.28 in October (up $70 from a year ago) and averages out to $287.32 for the first 10 months of the year, up $42.80 from the same period in 2013.

Exports to leading market Japan were exceptionally strong in October, increasing 25 per cent in volume to 49.8 million pounds and 54 per cent in value to $164 million. For January through October, US beef exports to Japan totaled 456 million pounds (up two per cent) valued at $1.33 billion (up 11 per cent).

Other January-October beef-export highlights include:

  • Exports to South Korea were up 12 per cent in volume to 211.7 million pounds and 41 per cent in value to $674.9 million. October export volume was the largest of the year at 24.6 million pounds.
  • Exports to Hong Kong have already set a new annual value record of $898 million, easily surpassing the 2013 full-year total of $823.3 million. October export volume was the largest ever at nearly 37 million pounds.
  • Led by strong growth in the Dominican Republic, exports to the Caribbean were up 20 per cent in volume to about 42 million pounds and 26 per cent in value to $124 million – just short of the full-year value record ($127 million) set in 2012.

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