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CME: Growth in October Beef, Pork Exports

09 December 2013

US - Both the beef and pork sectors saw exports grow in October relative to September, leaving year-to-date beef exports still slightly higher than one year ago and pork exports still lagging the year-to-date 2012 level, according to Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

That would be the general take-away from this week’s release of October trade data by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Economic Research Service. Some key items from the October data are:

  • Beef exports totaled 234.735 million pounds, carcass weight in October, 5.4 per cent higher than one year ago and 10.6 per cent higher than in September. The month’s shipments bring year-to-date beef exports to 2.14 billion pounds, carcass weight, an amount 4.1 per cent larger than at the same time last year. The YTD October figure for this year trails the record pace of 2011 by 191 million pounds or about 8 per cent so a new annual record for beef exports appears unlikely at this time.
  • Shipments to every major US beef market increased in October (see following chart). We suppose that should say “except Russia” but with a long string of purchases near zero, can we still classify Russia as a major US beef market? Beef exports to Korea were 28 per cent higher than one year ago while shipments to Mexico grew by 72 per cent relative to the very disappointing levels of one year ago. Russia (-100 per cent), Canada (-25.8 per cent) and Taiwan (-10.3 per cent) were the markets creating a drag on October shipments.
  • YTD beef exports are larger for Japan (+47 per cent), Hong Kong (+67 per cent), Taiwan (+99 per cent) and Canada (+6.3 per cent).

  • Beef variety meat exports totaled 23,954 metric tons in October, 7.4 per cent lower than the September level and 14.6 per cent lower than one year ago. The value of October beef variety meat exports, $56.261 million, was 12 per cent lower than in September and 13 per cent lower than one year ago.

  • Pork exports reached their highest monthly total so far in 2013, 435.2 million pounds, in October. That figure is still 11.7 per cent lower than one year ago. Year-to-date US pork export now stand at 4.084 billion pounds, carcass weight, 9 per cent lower than in 2012. This year’s YTD exports through October are still the third largest on record.
  • October saw shipments to most major US pork markets increase from September (see exports by destination chart below). The only exceptions to that statement were China-Hong Kong and Canada where shipments declined slightly and, of course, Russia which continued to take no US pork products. If shipments to Russia were equal to one year ago, YTD exports would be only 3.9 per cent lower than in 2012 instead of the 9 per cent figure noted above.
  • October pork exports were lower than one year ago for Japan (-5.0 per cent), Canada (-6.4 per cent), Korea (-64 per cent) and, as noted, Russia. October shipments to China/Hong Kong were 20.4 per cent larger than one year ago while shipments to Mexico were up by 4.3 per cent.

  • Japan remains our largest pork market, taking 1.123 billion pounds of carcass-weight equivalent product so far this year. Though Mexico is occasionally a larger monthly market for US pork, it is still a distant second as a market for pork muscle cuts at 980.1 million pounds, year to date through October. When muscle cuts and pork variety meats are both considered, Mexico remains our largest market.

  • Pork variety meat exports grew by 20 per cent from their September level in October but were virtually even with one year ago.

  • Pork and pork variety meat export values grew sharply from September, gaining 10.6 and 26.8 per cent, respectively. So far this year, $4.206 billion of pork and $621.7 million of pork variety meats have been exported. Those figures are 7.3 and 4.3 per cent lower than one year ago, respectively, but still reflect and increase in the realized unit prices of US pork exports so far this year.

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