On Robust Demand From China, U.S. Beef Exports Climb in September, Set Quarterly Record


Keith Good, Farm Policy News

University of Illinois - November 18, 2021


In its November Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report this week, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) indicated that, “September beef exports totaled 289 million pounds, up 20.9 percent (or 49.9 million pounds) from a year earlier. This rise in part reflects large shipments of beef to China, which accounted for the largest year-over-year increase in beef exports for September in both volume (39.7 million pounds) and percentage change (313 percent).


    The volume of beef sold to China during every month of 2021 has been a record for that destination.


“For the month of September only, the United States exported the largest volume of beef to Japan since 2018. Beef shipments to South Korea, the United States’ second largest destination, exceeded last year beef export volume by 10.0 percent, or 5.8 million pounds. Beef exports to Mexico in September were 14.1 percent higher than a year ago.”


Tuesday’s report noted that, “Beef exports to Hong Kong were down 47.9 percent, or 9.3 million pounds, from a year earlier. The United States also exported less beef to Taiwan and Canada. But while there were some reductions in September’s beef exports, they were not sufficient to offset the increase in U.S. beef exported to China, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico.”


The Outlook report pointed out that,


    In third-quarter 2021, the United States set a record for the largest volume of beef exported in a single quarter—911 million pounds, smashing the record set in second-quarter 2021 by 38 million pounds.


“After exceeding the 2021 second-quarter volume, beef exports in the 2021 third quarter were 10 percent, or 83 million pounds, larger than the volume recorded in the 2018 third quarter record. Below is a chart displaying third-quarter beef exports from 2015 – 21. This robust beef export pace in the third quarter was partly due to strong shipments to China.”


ERS added that, “The fourth-quarter forecast for 2021 beef exports was raised by 50 million pounds from last month to 875 million on strong demand in Asian markets.


“The annual forecast for 2021 beef exports was raised by 41 million pounds to 3.455 billion pounds. The forecast for 2022 was unchanged from last month at 3.270 billion pounds.”


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