CME: US Pork and Beef Exports Rising

by 5m Editor
18 January 2011, at 9:54am

High grain prices are not the only similarity between the fall of 2010 and the summer of 2008: pork exports soared in November and beef exports kept climbing, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Both contributed to last fall’s strong wholesale level demands for beef and pork that we have chronicled on several occasions. Some highlights of the Department of Commerce’s and USDA’s export data, released last Friday, are:

  • Pork exports were 6.7 per cent higher on a carcass weight basis and five per cent higher on a product weight basis. The Commerce Department reports that pork export value in November was $443.4 million, 15 per cent higher than one year ago. The US Meat Export Federation reported that November’s performance means January-November 2010 exports have amounted to $43.61 for every hog slaughtered in the US November exports amounted to $44.80 per head slaughtered

  • Japan remains our largest market in terms of both pork tonnage and value. November shipments to Japan were 10.2 per cent higher than last year and bring the 2010 total to 1.173 billion pounds carcass weight, virtually even with the level of 2009.

  • Mexico once again challenged for that top spot in November, importing a record 105.93 million pounds of US pork. That figure is 30.4 per cent higher than one year ago and comes on the heels of three decidedly down months.
  • China/Hong Kong reclaimed the number three spot in the list of US pork export markets. November shipments of 43 million pounds carcass weight were 23 per cent higher than last year and bring the year-to-date total to 314.3 million pounds, 1.5 per cent lower than in 2009. November also marks the second highest month for shipments to China/Hong Kong since the 2008 surge ended in August 2008.

  • US pork exports to Russia reached their highest level since September 2009. November shipments amounted to 27.9 million pounds carcass weight, 36 per cent larger than one year ago. Year-to-date exports to Russia are still 47 per cent smaller than last year due to trade restrictions early in the year.

  • Canada remains a steady number 4 customer for US pork, with year-to-date shipments up five per cent from 2009 at 389 million pounds.

  • November beef exports totaled 215.6 million pounds carcass weight. That figure is 25 per cent larger than last year and the second highest since the 2003 BSE-related export interruptions – second only to August 2008.

  • Mexico remains our largest beef customer and November shipments southward were 12 per cent larger than last year. 2010 will not be a red-letter year for Mexican exports though as shipments are still down 21.6 per cent through November.

  • Shipments to every other major US beef market except Vietnam (which transships product to China and is down 24 per cent) and Canada (+4.0 per cent) are sharply higher through November. Russia leads the way in percentage terms (+508 per cent) but Korea and ‘Other’ markets are the big gainers in tonnage terms at +128.4 million and +116.4 million pounds, respectively. Those increases amount oto 105.6 per cent and 65.1 per cent of 2009 shipments for those two markets.

  • November beef exports were valued at $389.5 million, nearly 50 per cent larger than one year earlier. Year-to-date value is up 30 per cent from 2009.