November Beef Exports Strong

US - US beef export value took another step toward a likely full-year value record, according to export results released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
calendar icon 9 January 2018
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Beef exports reached 111,915 mt in November, down 3 per cent from the large volume of November 2016 but still the second-highest monthly total of the year. Export value was also the second-largest of 2017 at $666.4 million, up 8 per cent year-over-year. January-November export volume totaled 1.15 million mt, up 7 per cent, while export value climbed to $6.6 billion – up 15 per cent from a year ago and slightly above the record pace established in 2014.

Beef exports accounted for 13.1 per cent of total production in November, the highest since July but down from 14.9 per cent in November 2016. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 10.9 per cent – down from 11.7 per cent a year ago. For January through November, beef exports accounted for 12.8 per cent of total production (down from 13.5 per cent in 2016) and 10.3 per cent for muscle cuts (steady with 2016).

November beef export value averaged $306.63 per head of fed slaughter, up 4 per cent from a year ago and the highest in nearly three years. January-November export value averaged $282.34 per head, up 9 per cent.

Japan, Hong Kong drive beef export growth; new value records in Korea and Taiwan

Japan continued to be the pacesetter for US beef exports in November, with volume increasing 5 per cent year-over-year to 24,819 mt and value up 6 per cent to $159.2 million. This pushed Japan’s 11-month totals to 285,336 mt (up 20 per cent) valued at $1.75 billion (up 27 per cent and a new post-BSE record). Chilled beef exports reached 137,707 mt through November, up 35 per cent, valued at a record-high $1.02 billion, up 39 per cent.

Approaching Chinese New Year, beef exports to Hong Kong gained momentum in October and climbed again in November, with volume up 20 per cent from a year ago to 16,106 mt (the largest since December 2014) and value soaring 43 per cent to $119 million. Through November, exports to Hong Kong climbed 13 per cent in volume (113,440 mt) and 26 per cent in value ($765 million).

November exports to China were 655 mt, the largest since the mid-June market opening, valued at $5.7 million. Through November, exports reached 2,225 mt valued at $22.8 million.

"US beef has only really scratched the surface in China, so exports are still relatively small but the value per pound is among the highest in the world," USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said. "This makes China an exciting addition to our strong portfolio of Asian markets, where beef exports continue to expand at an impressive rate. 2017 was a tremendous year for US beef in Asia, and the coming year looks very promising as well."

Other January-November highlights for US beef exports include:

  • Driven by strong retail demand and reduced tariffs under KORUS, beef exports to South Korea have already set a new value record. Through November, exports increased 5 per cent year-over-year in volume to 167,532 mt, valued at $1.1 billion – up 19 per cent from a year ago and edging past the 2016 record of $1.06 billion. Chilled beef exports to Korea accelerated at an even faster rate, jumping 88 per cent in volume to a record 41,086 mt – valued at $368.5 million, up 93 per cent.

  • A new value record was also established in Taiwan, where US beef holds more than 70 per cent of the chilled beef market. Through November, exports to Taiwan increased 3 per cent from a year ago in volume (40,402 mt) while value climbed 16 per cent to $369.9 million – breaking the 2016 record of $362.8 million.

  • November beef exports to Mexico dipped 8 per cent in volume from a year ago to 20,161 mt, but value increased 2 per cent to $80.8 million. Through November, exports to Mexico were steady with the first 11 months of 2016 in both volume (216,765 mt) and value ($894.1 million). Mexico is the second-largest volume market for US beef (behind Japan) and ranks third in value (after Japan and Korea).

  • Strong year-over-year growth in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam pushed January-November exports to the ASEAN region to 38,039 mt (up 46 per cent year-over-year), valued at $193.3 million (up 39 per cent).

  • Led by Chile, Peru and Colombia, beef exports to South America have already set new annual records. Through November, exports increased 27 per cent from a year ago in volume (26,786 mt) and 23 per cent in value ($106 million). Since shipments began in April, exports to Brazil have shown solid potential, reaching 1,998 mt valued at $7 million.

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