Canada’s beef/beef variety meat exports hit a multi-year monthly high in August of 31,313 metric tons (mt), up 22 percent from a year ago, driven by strong exports to the United States (22,770 mt, +28 percent) and record-high shipments to China (4,145 mt, +555 percent). Exports were lower for Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong but increased to several African countries (taking mostly variety meat) as well as Saudi Arabia and Cuba.
For January through August, exports were steady with last year at 206,171 mt. The United States (152,993 mt, +6 percent) is still the leading destination for Canadian beef, but China (13,429 mt, +169 percent) surpassed Mexico (13,269 mt, -13 percent) as Canada’s second-largest market. Exports to Japan (9,417 mt, -25 percent) and Hong Kong (8,024 mt, -52 percent) were sharply lower.
Canada’s total beef imports through August were up 3 percent to 141,181 mt, as a decrease from the U.S. (81,241 mt, -9 percent) was offset by growth from Australia (30,475 mt, +48 percent) and New Zealand (15,745 mt, +33 percent). Canada also recently announced the opening of its beef market to 19 EU member states, but imports from the EU won’t show up until the October data at the earliest.
U.S. net imports of Canadian beef in August were 12,621 mt, more than double year-ago levels and the largest since March 2014. Reflecting tight supplies, U.S. imports of Canadian cattle (through Sept. 26) were down 25 percent year-over-year to 633,000 head, with decreases across all categories. Feeder cattle imports were down 10 percent to about 262,000 head. Canada’s cattle slaughter was also down 8 percent to 1.8 million head (through Sept 19).
August exports of Canadian pork/pork variety meat were up 7 percent to 81,485 mt, but still significantly lower than previous years as Russia’s trade embargo continues to restrict export volume. August results reflected growth to the United States (34,039 mt, +19 percent) as well as a doubling of exports to Taiwan (2,550 mt, +106 percent), while exports were lower to Japan, Mexico, China, and South Korea.
For January through August, total exports were down 5 percent to 661,483 mt with growth to the U.S. (263,540 mt, +21 percent), Mexico (61,145 mt, +20 percent), Taiwan (28,926 mt, +72 percent), Korea (26,690 mt, +19 percent), Australia (18,817 mt, +49 percent), Hong Kong (17,133 mt, +77 percent), Chile (9,087 mt, +95 percent), New Zealand (7,760 mt, +69 percent) and South Africa (6,599 mt, +558 percent) not fully offsetting lower exports to Japan (113,249 mt, -5 percent) and China (54,506 mt, -38 percent), as well as the loss of the Russian market.
Canada’s pork imports from all suppliers were up 5 percent through August to 118,950 mt, including slightly higher imports from the U.S. (107,368 mt, +2 percent) and a large increase from the EU (10,136 mt, +45 percent). U.S. net imports of Canadian pork in August were 17,037 mt, up 56 percent year-over-year. Imports of Canadian hogs (Jan. 1 through Sept. 26) were up 10 percent to 4 million head. Canadian hog slaughter (through Sept. 19) was up 2.5 percent to 14.5 million head.
Data sources: Global Trade Atlas and USDA