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Strong Momentum Continues for US Beef Exports

18 October 2010

US - August was a solid month for both US beef and pork exports as both easily outpaced the results of August 2009 and increased their gains over the cumulative totals from the first eight months of 2009.

Beef exports for the month increased 24 per cent in volume and 43 per cent in value compared to August 2009, totaling 92,579 metric tons valued at $373.7 million. The cumulative January-August totals were up 16 per cent in volume (680,609 metric tons) and 27 per cent in value ($2.57 billion). This value total is 9 per cent higher than the corresponding pre-BSE value total from January-August 2003. Korea remains the largest growth market, with exports of 73,625 metric tons valued at $345 million (an increase of 131 per cent and 175 per cent, respectively).

On a per-head basis, beef exports equated to $159.60 per steer and heifer slaughtered in August - up from about $120.00 in August 2009. Export value for January-August equated to $144.32 per head compared to $115.25 a year ago. Exports made up 11.4 per cent of production, up from 9.7 per cent last year.

Beef surging in virtually all major markets, with Mexico showing some signs of recovery

All major beef export markets showed strong growth through the first eight months of the year except for Viet Nam (which is down slightly in volume but still up 12 per cent in value) and Mexico, which is down 21 per cent in volume and 18 per cent in value. August results for Mexico were somewhat encouraging, however, as volume (20,959 metric tons) was down slightly from last year but value (just over $70 million) was 6 per cent higher.

“Mexico has remained a challenging market for beef, due to the sluggish economy and a peso that has been slow to strengthen,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “But recent results there have been more promising, so we’re hopeful that our No. 1 market is getting back on track and that Mexico is beginning to share in the strong momentum US beef is gaining worldwide.”

Canada remains the second-largest market for US beef. Export volume (98,022 metric tons) to Canada is relatively flat this year, but value is up 8 per cent to $461.1 million. August was a strong month for Canada, with exports rising nearly 10 per cent in volume and 25 per cent in value over August 2009.

Japan is closing the gap on Canada as beef exports reached 78,879 metric tons valued at $404.3 million. Export growth to Japan has been strong and steady throughout the year, holding at 26 per cent for both volume and value. August growth was slightly better, however, exceeding 30 per cent over August 2009.

In addition to the strong growth in Korea (detailed above), other beef export highlights for January-August include:

  • Exports to Egypt increased 29 per cent in volume (69,811 metric tons) and 65 per cent in value ($97.1 million). Strong growth in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia helped push exports to the Middle East region to 82,850 metric tons valued at $150.7 million – increases of 31 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively. Muscle cut exports to the region were record-large in August, totaling 4,782 metric tons with a value of $15.9 million.

  • Despite relatively slow growth in Viet Nam, exports to the ASEAN region increased by 20 per cent in volume (47,623 metric tons) and 26 per cent in value ($153.8 million), led by exceptional results in the Philippines and Indonesia.

  • Taiwan, which has set new value records for purchases of US beef in each of the past four years, appears well on its way to another record in 2010. Exports to Taiwan have increased 42 per cent in volume (24,409 metric tons) and 54 per cent in value ($131.1 million), rapidly approaching last year’s calendar year-ending total of $141.1 million.

  • Exports to Russia have already set a new record for value at $104.5 million, surpassing the previous high of $95.3 million set in 2008. Compared to last year, exports to Russia are up 139 per cent in volume (37,101 metric tons) and 476 per cent in value.

  • Despite a slowdown in August, cumulative exports to Hong Kong were still up 50 per cent in volume (20,407 metric tons) and 68 per cent in value ($76.3 million).

TheCattleSite News Desk



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