CME: Disappointing Pork Shipments

US - Amid all of the talk over equity markets and USDA’s surprising crop production figures last week, no one took much notice of June export figures which showed strong beef shipments and rather disappointing pork shipments, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
calendar icon 17 August 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

Charts of the monthly data for both species appear below.

Note that these charts present product weight data that is released by the Department of Commerce and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Carcase weight equivalent data is usually released the day after the FAS release but USDA’s Economic Research Service is apparently moving to new offices and decided that carcase weight data could wait for a week.

It is scheduled to be released Thursday, 18 August.

Some highlights of last week’s reports are:

  • Beef exports continue to soar. June shipments of 80,909 metric tons were the largest this year, barely eclipsing the level of March. June shipments also represented the fourth larges month ever, trailing only August of 2000 and June and July of 2003. June exports were 20 per centhigher than last year and brought total shipments to 442,433 metric tons, 26 per cent higher than during the first half of 2010.

  • The largest destination for US beef remained CANADA this month with 16,766 metric tons being shipped northward. That is 67 per cent more than last year and brings the yearly total to nearly 80,000 metric tons, 25.2 per cent more than in January-June 2010.

  • Japan remained the second largest customer for US beef. June exports amounted to 15,366 metric tons, 26 per cent higher than last year. That brought first half 2011 exports to Japan to 67,433 metric tons 52 per cent larger than in 2010.

  • Mexico, which was once our largest beef customer, remained the third largest destination in June but is second in the year-to -date rankings. Exports to Mexico this year are only 2.1 per cent larger than in 2010 through June.

  • Korea, which was responsible for the huge surge in beef exports in March, actually took less beef than last year for the second straight month. Year-to-date shipments, driven by over 22,000 metric tons in March ( 4X the 2010 level) are still up 70 per cent for the year.

  • The value of beef exports exceeded $400 million for only the second time in history in June. The first time was in March. June’s $406.5 million was 25.5 per cent larger than last year and brought YTD value to $2.233 billion, 41.5 per cent higher than 2010.

  • While beef exports soared, pork exports slowed — not to yearago levels but very close. June shipments were only 2.4 per cent higher than last year at 127,100 metric tons. 2011 is still on pace to be a record year with YTD exports up 14.6 per cent.

  • Japan, Mexico and Canada were the three largest destinations for US pork in June with China/Hong Kong a close fourth. Shipments to Korea remained strong (+21 per cent from last year) but Junes 7,789 metric tons pales in comparison to the 29,288 metric tons sent in March and 20,430 metric tons sent in April.

  • The value of US pork exports was 7.7 per cent higher this June than last and year-to-date pork exports are valued at $2.459 billion, over 22 per cent higher than last year due to excellent export prices.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.
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