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CME: Japan, Korea Top Markets for US Beef in May

08 July 2019

US - Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc. provides a brief update of May beef trade statistics issued on Friday.

Total US exports of fresh/frozen beef in May were 89,691 MT, the highest monthly export volume so far this year and only slightly less than the comparable month a year ago. Japan and South Korea were the two top markets for US beef exports in May but the trend in shipments has been diverging.

Exports to Japan were 24,128 MT, 6 percent lower than a year ago. In the first five months of the year US beef exports to Japan have declined 4.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Exports to South Korea in May were 21,990 MT, 11 percent higher than a year ago. This is the largest monthly export volume to this Market on record.

In the first five months of the year exports to South Korea have been a total of 95,749 MT, 11.7 percent higher than the previous year. Last year US beef exports to South Korea peaked in August but the pace of sales to that market has weakened recently.

Exports to Mexico, another top market for US beef, were 11,978 MT in May, 3 percent higher than a year ago while exports to Canada at 8,852 MT were down 10 percent.

The biggest drag for US beef and veal exports in May was Hong Kong. Shipments to this market were 6,147 MT, down 25 percent compared to a year ago.

While buyers in Hong Kong already have a significant amount of product purchased for delivery this year, the pace of export shipments has been very disappointing. We think much of this has to do with the current trade standoff between US and China and much more stringent controls on the "gray trade" that takes place between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

Weekly data suggests that total US beef exports in June were also modestly under year ago levels, in large part due to lower y/y exports to Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Export sales have also slowed down, especially export sales to South Korea, which in the last four weeks have averaged 7 percent below year ago levels. Export sales to Hong Kong in the last four weeks are down 19 percent y/y.


Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.


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