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U.S. Beef Exports Stay Red-hot in July

U.S. beef exports remained well above last year’s pace in July, posting one of the highest monthly export value totals on record, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). July pork export volume dipped below its year-ago level for the first time in 15 months, with export value also down slightly.

July beef exports totaled 104,488 metric tons (mt), up 5 percent year-over-year, while export value reached $623.7 million – up 18 percent from a year ago and the highest since December 2014. For January through July, exports increased 11 percent in volume (711,364 mt) and 15 percent in value ($3.97 billion) compared to the first seven months of last year.

Exports accounted for 13.2 percent of total U.S. beef production in July and 10.7 percent for muscle cuts only. These were the highest ratios of 2017, but down from 14.2 percent and 11 percent, respectively, last July. For January through July, beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production and 10 percent for muscle cuts – roughly steady with last year. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $299.21 in July, up more than $35 (or 13 percent) from a year ago. Through July, per-head export value was up 9 percent to $273.52.

Pork exports totaled 173,675 mt in July, down 4 percent year-over-year, valued at $488.9 million, down 0.6 percent. January-July volume was still up 11 percent from a year ago to 1.43 million mt, while export value was up 13 percent to $3.7 billion.

Exports accounted for 26 percent of total pork production in July (down from 27.5 percent a year ago) and 21 percent for muscle cuts only (down from 23 percent). For the first seven months of the year, with U.S. production at a record pace, the percentage of total production exported increased from 25.6 percent to 27.5 percent. For muscle cuts only, the increase was from 21.6 percent to 23 percent. Export value per head slaughtered in July was $54.22 – up slightly from June but 3 percent below last July. The January-July per-head average increased 10 percent from a year ago to $54.11.

“July was certainly a solid month, especially for beef exports, but these results remind us that the U.S. red meat industry operates in an intensely competitive global environment,” said USMEF CEO Philip Seng. “At a time when some of our most essential trade agreements are under review, we must be mindful of how these agreements have helped make U.S. beef, pork and lamb more readily available and more affordable for millions of global customers, to the benefit of U.S. producers and everyone in the U.S. supply chain.”

Beef export volume to Japan largest in four years; value highest of post-BSE era

Beef exports to leading market Japan totaled 27,689 mt in July, up 20 percent from a year ago and the largest since July 2013 – which was shortly after Japan increased the eligible U.S. cattle age to 30 months. July export value to Japan increased 36 percent to $175.7 million, the highest monthly total since 1996. For January through July, exports to Japan were up 23 percent in volume (178,501 mt) and 29 percent in value ($1.08 billion). USMEF’s featuring of chilled beef in Japan continues to pay dividends as chilled exports were up 39 percent to 83,951 mt valued at $613 million (up 40 percent). Driven by strong growth in Japan’s foodservice industry, especially the gyudon beef bowl chains which heavily rely on U.S. short plate, U.S. frozen beef exports to Japan were up 12 percent to 64,928 mt (valued at $250 million, up 18 percent). But Japan’s frozen beef safeguard was triggered in late July, increasing the duty on frozen beef imports from suppliers without a trade agreement with Japan, including the U.S., from 38.5 percent to 50 percent. The impact of the safeguard is not likely to surface until the September export data is available. But since August, U.S. frozen beef has been at an even larger tariff disadvantage compared to Australian beef, which is subject to a duty rate of 27.2 percent under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

Beef exports to South Korea dipped below the large volume of last July to 15,587 mt (down 5 percent), but were still the largest of 2017. July export value to Korea increased 8 percent from a year ago to $101.7 million. Through July, exports to Korea increased 9 percent in volume (98,944 mt) and 19 percent in value ($629.4 million), including an impressive 83 percent increase in chilled beef exports (22,432 mt) valued at $199 million (up 88 percent). The U.S. is now the largest supplier of beef to both Japan and Korea on a value basis, with the U.S. share of Korea’s imports increasing from 43 percent to 48.5 percent.

Other January-July highlights for U.S. beef exports included:

  • After a slow start in 2017, beef exports to Hong Kong continue to rebound. Exports were up 13 percent year-over-year in volume (65,379 mt) and 21 percent higher in value ($417.8 million). July was the first full month for exports to China, as exports totaled 137 mt valued at $1.3 million.
  • Beef exports to Taiwan increased 16 percent from a year ago in volume (24,234 mt) and 24 percent in value ($215.5 million), including chilled beef exports of 9,883 mt (up 19 percent) valued at $114 million (up 22 percent). U.S. beef holds more than 70 percent of Taiwan’s chilled beef market, the highest share of any Asian destination.
  • Led by strong growth in Chile, Peru and Colombia, beef exports to South America increased 20 percent year-over-year in volume (16,159 mt) and 21 percent in value ($63.2 million). Exports to Brazil, which launched in late April, reached 1,198 mt valued at $3.2 million.
  • A strong performance in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam fueled 79 percent year-over-year growth in export volume to the ASEAN region (23,376 mt), with value up 59 percent to $114.1 million. This region is especially strong for beef variety meat exports, as volume reached 7,145 mt (up 176 percent) valued at $12.5 million (up 164 percent).
  • Within North America, beef exports were fairly steady with last year as Mexico continues to be the second-largest volume destination for U.S. beef exports while Canada ranks fourth. Exports to Mexico increased 2 percent in volume (134,543 mt) but slipped 2 percent in value ($544.8). Exports to Canada were up 1 percent in volume (68,097 mt) and 4 percent in value ($475.7 million).

Source: USMEF

Momentum Continues for Red Meat Exports

U.S. pork and beef exports posted a strong May performance, increasing significantly from the previous month and from year-ago levels, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Pork exports reached 222,015 metric tons (mt) in May, up 11 percent year-over-year and the fourth-largest monthly volume on record. Pork export value was $583.2 million, up 16 percent. For January through May, exports increased 14 percent from a year ago in volume (1.05 million mt, a record pace) and 18 percent in value ($2.68 billion).

Even with the growth in U.S. pork production, exports account for a larger share in 2017. May exports equated to 29.4 percent of total production and just under 25 percent for muscle cuts only – up from 28.4 percent and 24.3 percent, respectively, last year. Through the first five months of 2017, exports accounted for 27.9 percent of total production and 23.2 percent for muscle cuts (up from 25.2 percent and 21.3 percent). Exports are also commanding higher prices, indicative of strong demand across a wide range of international markets. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $58.61 in May, up 7 percent from a year ago. The January-May average was $54.23, up 14 percent.

May beef exports totaled 105,321 mt, up 6 percent from a year ago, valued at $582.6 million, up 9 percent. For January through May, beef exports were up 12 percent in volume (497,322 mt) and 16 percent in value ($2.75 billion) compared to the same period last year.

Exports accounted for 13 percent of total U.S. beef production in May and 10 percent for muscle cuts only – each down one percentage point from a year ago. Through May, these ratios were steady with last year’s pace – 12.8 percent for total production and 10 percent for muscle cuts. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $265.55 in May, matching the average from a year ago. Through May, per-head export value averaged $270.27, up 8 percent. Beef export prices are also increasing, especially in key Asian markets, with double-digit increases in Japan and Korea in May illustrating the strong demand for U.S. beef.

May was a particularly strong month for variety meat exports, with pork variety meat volume climbing 16 percent to 47,766 mt (a record high for May), and value up 33 percent to $102.7 million. Beef variety meat exports reached 2017 highs in both volume (30,173 mt, up 12 percent) and value ($77.7 million, up 10 percent).

“2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for U.S. pork and beef exports, but we remain in an extremely competitive situation in each of our key markets,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “That’s why it is so important to capitalize on every opportunity to increase carcass value, and this is where variety meat plays an important role. USMEF has been working with our industry partners to expand the range of variety meat product offerings and diversify their destinations, and those efforts are paying important dividends for producers.”

Japan, Korea and Taiwan shine for U.S. beef while rebound in Hong Kong continues

Beef exports to leading market Japan maintained their strong momentum in May, with volume up 9 percent to 25,340 mt and value up 24 percent to $160.8 million. Through May, exports to Japan exceeded last year’s pace by 28 percent in volume (123,291 mt) and 32 percent in value ($731.4 million). This included a 45 percent increase in chilled beef exports to 58,000 mt, valued at $414 million (up 42 percent). U.S. beef now accounts for 51 percent of Japan’s chilled beef imports, surpassing Australia, and climbing from 40 percent last year.

May beef exports to South Korea fell below last year’s large volume (14,268 mt, down 8 percent) but still increased 2 percent in value to $89.2 million. Chilled exports were the largest of the year at 3,700 mt, up 89 percent. For January through May, exports to Korea were up 12 percent in volume (68,656 mt) and 21 percent in value ($435.3 million). This included an 85 percent increase in chilled exports (to 15,700 mt) with value up 88 percent to $138.5 million. The U.S. is now Korea’s largest supplier of chilled beef, with market share climbing from 36.5 percent last year to 52 percent in 2017, surpassing Australia.

Beef exports to Taiwan posted a solid May performance with volume up 24 percent to 3,426 mt and value up 20 percent to $28.6 million. Through May, exports to Taiwan totaled 16,925 mt (up 24 percent) valued at $147.1 million (up 27 percent). This included chilled exports of 6,650 mt (up 16 percent) valued at $76 million (up 19 percent). The U.S. is the largest supplier of beef to Taiwan and holds 70 percent of the chilled beef market.

After a slow start to the year, exports to Hong Kong continued to gain momentum in May with exports increasing 29 percent in volume (10,290 mt) and 36 percent in value ($66.4 million). Through May, exports to Hong Kong totaled 47,683 mt (up 7 percent) valued at $300.3 million (up 14 percent).

Beef exports within North America declined in May, with volumes below year-ago levels for both Mexico (20,797 mt, down 7 percent) and Canada (8,700 mt, down 21 percent). Through May, exports to Mexico were still up 4 percent year-over-year in volume (95,379 mt) but fell 5 percent in value ($379.1 million). January-May exports to Canada remained ahead of last year’s pace in both volume (47,405 mt, up 3 percent) and value ($319.7 million, up 6 percent).

from USMEF