Dr. Derrell Peel on How the Beef Trade Bounces Back


Oklahoma Farm Report

11 Jan 2021


Mondays, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel talks about the Beef trade bouncing back.


U.S. beef trade is stabilizing as the ripple effects of the initial COVID-19 disruptions continue to fade. The latest beef trade data for November shows that monthly exports were up 13.2 percent year over year. This brings the year to date total to a cumulative reduction of 3.7 percent year over year for the first eleven months of the year. Exports were very volatile in 2020, starting higher year over year before dropping sharply in May and June and recovering in the second half of the year.


Japan remains the largest beef export market in 2020 with exports up a modest 3.4 percent for the year to date through November and accounting for 28.5 percent of total beef exports for the period. South Korea is the number two market down 1.2 percent year over year through November. South Korea represents 23.2 percent of total beef exports for the year to date. With a 48.7 percent monthly increase in November, Mexico reclaimed the number three spot as a beef export destination but is still down 31.2 percent year over year for the year to date. Canada is the number four market for U.S. beef exports through November, up 6.4 percent for the January to November period and accounting for 9.7 percent of total exports through November. Hong Kong is the number five export market, down 5.1 percent through November and accounting for 7.4 percent of total beef exports for the year to date. The top five export markets represent 78.9 percent of total beef exports for the January to November period. Taiwan and China were the number six and seven markets adding another 6.9 and 3.5 percent to total beef exports respectively through November.


Total beef imports were down 3.9 percent year over year in November as the post-COVID surge in imports retreats to prior levels. For the January to November period, beef imports are up 10.7 percent year over year. Beef imports increased sharply in July and August before declining and dropping back close to year earlier levels in October and November.


Canada is the largest source of beef imports through November 2020, down 2.7 percent year over year and accounting for 24.5 percent of total imports. Australia has dropped to number two...