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CME: Beef Export Shipment, Sales Somewhat Disappointing

06 January 2020

US - USDA released on Friday morning its latest update on US beef and pork export shipments and sales. While the numbers were somewhat disappointing, keep in mind that exports usually slow down during holiday weeks. We will need to wait until production normalizes to fully understand export flows, writes Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

Export shipments at 12,633 MT were relatively low, even for a holiday shortened week. Beef export shipments in December have consistently tracked under year ago levels. There is some hope that the lowering of tariffs in Japan will result in higher exports to that market.

However, net sales so far have been underwhelming. For the latest week combined net sales were just 3,435 MT. Net sales to South Korea, another key market, were even lower at just 442 MT. Still, outstanding beef sales for delivery in the current and new marketing year were 149,201 MT, 17 percent higher than a year ago.

Hong Kong has been cancelling loads fairly consistently so it is not clear whether the larger volume currently on the books will actually delivery. Export trade with Hong Kong was a major disappointment for much of 2019. It remains to be seen if the signing of the new trade deal with China will bring some improvement on that front.


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