July Beef Exports Continue To Surge

July was another very strong month for US beef and pork exports, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Both are on pace to set new export value records in 2011 and to eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever.
calendar icon 9 September 2011
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Beef exports set a new value record in July of $513.1 million, on a volume of 120,424 metric tons. For the first seven months of the year, exports totaled 741,275 metric tons valued at nearly $3.1 billion – an increase of 26 per cent in volume and 40 per cent in value over last year’s pace.

July exports equated to 16.3 per cent of total US production with a value of $236.88 per head of fed slaughter. This compared to 12 per cent and $159.34 per head last July. For the year, beef exports equated to 14.2 per cent of production with a value of $198.67 per head of fed slaughter.

“July was another outstanding month for red meat exports, as we continued to expand the presence of US beef and pork throughout the world,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng.

“This is a testament to the commitment US producers and exporters have made to the international markets. Despite market access restrictions, high tariffs and other trade barriers, the investments we are making in foreign markets are paying tremendous dividends. And this success couldn’t come at a better time, as it is adding jobs to the US economy and delivering much-needed returns to our farmers and ranchers. Those producers are dealing with high operating costs, adverse weather and many other significant challenges, and the export markets are clearly the best thing they have going in terms of profitability.”

Canada shines as July beef exports race to record heights

Beef exports to Canada had set a new value record in June of nearly $97 million, but that record was quickly eclipsed by a July total of $131.3 million. This remarkable performance pushed Canada into the No. one position for 2011 US beef exports in terms of value at $595.2 million – an increase of 54 per cent over last year – on a volume of 110,712 metric tons (up 32 per cent).

Despite losing its top ranking, Mexico continued its strong performance with imports valued at $78.4 million in July and a year-over-year total that is 23 per cent higher at $552.7 million. Mexico remains the top volume market for US beef at 147,386 metric tons – an increase of six per cent over last year.

Japan was July’s second-largest market for beef export value at $86.6 million, and ranks a strong third for the year at $502.9 million – a 50 per cent increase over the first seven months of 2010. In terms of volume, exports to Japan through July totaled 94,428 metric tons – an increase of 45 per cent over last year.

July exports to South Korea slowed from the torrid pace established earlier in the year, reaching a volume of 11,327 metric tons valued at $50.3 million. This is about 12 per cent lower in volume and 23 per cent lower in value than July 2010.

For the year, however, exports to Korea were still 55 per cent higher in volume (98,217 metric tons) and 48 percent higher in value ($431.1 million) than a year ago, making Korea the third-largest market in terms of volume and fourth-largest in value.

Other highlights include:

  • Exports to the Middle East were 38 per cent higher than last year in volume (96,449 metric tons) and 49 per cent higher in value ($186.3 million). Egypt accounted for about 83 per cent of the volume and 62 per cent of the value, though growth was also solid in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
  • Exports to Russia were 26 per cent higher in volume (41,624 metric tons) and 42 per cent higher in value ($133.6 million). The US has a larger tariff rate quota for beef in Russia this year, which should help exports remain strong in coming months.
  • Hong Kong continues to grow exceptionally well as a market for US beef, with exports increasing 60 per cent in volume (29,802 metric tons) and nearly doubling in value to $133 million.
  • Led by a surge in exports to Chile, beef exports to the Central and South America region were up 53 per cent in volume (15,196 metric tons) and 74 per cent in value ($42.6 million). Peru remains a mainstay market for beef variety meat while Guatemala, Chile and Colombia are the top destinations for beef muscle cuts.
September 2011
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