November Beef Exports Trail 2018
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)
January 8, 2020
November beef exports totaled 108,662 mt, down 4% from a year ago, valued at $658.1 million (down 7%). For January through November, beef exports trailed 2018’s record pace by 3% in both volume (1.21 million mt) and value ($7.4 billion). However, 2019 is already the second-highest year for beef export value, trailing only the 2018 record of $8.33 billion.
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter was $307.55 in November, down 15% from a year ago. Through November, per-head export value averaged $308.74, down 4%. November exports accounted for 13.7% of total beef production and 11% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.1% and 11.8%, respectively, a year ago. For January through November, exports accounted for 14.1% of total beef production and 11.4% for muscle cuts, down from 14.5% and 12%, respectively, a year ago.
Beef exports to Korea, Taiwan headed for new records
Although November beef exports to South Korea were lower than a year ago in volume (19,116 mt, down 5%) and value ($139 million, down 11%), the market remained on pace to break the 2018 records. Through November, exports to Korea were up 6% in both volume (234,310 mt) and value ($1.69 billion). U.S. share of Korea’s chilled beef imports reached 62%, up from 58% in 2018. U.S. beef accounted for 51% of Korea’s total beef and beef variety meat imports and more than one-third of Korea’s total beef consumption.
Beef exports to Taiwan will be record-large for the fourth consecutive year in 2019. November exports were 4,869 mt (up 8% from a year ago) valued at $43 million (up 7%). This pushed January-November results 8% ahead of the previous year’s pace at 57,837 mt, valued at $513.3 million (up 4%).
The gains in Korea and Taiwan have been offset by a decline in Japan, which is still the largest destination for U.S. beef exports but one in which the U.S. industry has faced a steep tariff rate disadvantage compared to imports from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Through November, exports to Japan were down 6% from a year ago in volume (287,090 mt) and dropped 7% in value ($1.8 billion). But on Jan. 1, U.S. beef gained tariff relief in Japan that brings rates in line with key competitors, so the outlook is very positive for 2020.
“The Japanese market performed extremely well for U.S. beef in 2018, even though we were already facing a tariff rate disadvantage versus Australia,” Halstrom explained. “More competitors saw tariff rate cuts in 2019 under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which further tilted the playing field against U.S. beef. For example, Canada’s beef exports to Japan increased 57% last year. So the rate cuts Japan recently implemented for U.S. beef are long overdue, and USMEF is working aggressively with U.S. exporters and the Japanese trade to capitalize.”
January-November highlights for U.S. beef exports include:
· In Mexico, the third-largest market for U.S. beef behind Japan and Korea, exports increased 4% from a year ago in value to just over $1 billion despite a 2% decline in volume (214,963 mt). This was largely due to a strong value increase for tripe, one of the top U.S. beef variety meat export items to Mexico. Variety meat exports were up 2% year-over-year in volume (89,667 mt) but jumped an impressive 18% in value to $244.5 million. This included $88 million in tripe exports, up 28%.
· Led by strong demand in Indonesia and steady growth in the Philippines, beef exports to the ASEAN region increased 23% from a year ago in volume (55,583 mt) and were 7% higher in value ($270.6 million).
· Exports to the Dominican Republic already surpassed the 2018 record, increasing 24% in volume to 7,523 mt valued at $61.4 million (up 19%).
· In Central America, strong demand in Guatemala and Panama helped push exports 4% higher than a year ago in volume (14,044 mt) and 9% higher in value ($79.9 million). Export value to Guatemala and Panama jumped 9% and 25%, respectively.
· Mexico and Japan have led a very strong year for global exports of U.S. beef variety meat, which were up 4% from a year ago in volume (295,527 mt) and 9% higher in value ($885.9 million). Exports to Japan, which largely consist of tongues and skirts, were up 20% from a year ago to 58,278 mt, valued at $355.5 million (up 13%). Egypt, the largest destination for U.S. beef livers, saw a 4% increase in volume (59,203 mt) while export value climbed 17% to $69 million. Led by strong demand in Indonesia, variety meat exports to the ASEAN increased 39% in volume (16,595 mt) and 43% in value ($37.3 million). Strong growth in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago pushed variety meat exports to the Caribbean 17% higher in volume (6,814 mt) while value surged 61% to $14.2 million.
Pork surge to China/Hong Kong continues; export value to Mexico rebounds
November lamb exports trend lower
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