Canada’s January pork/pork variety meat exports totaled 81,346 mt, down 7 percent from a year ago. While exports to the United States were only down slightly (26,084 mt, -1 percent), the results showed significant shifts in the volumes destined for other markets. Exports to Japan (13,973 mt, -29 percent), China (10,468 mt, -27 percent), South Korea (1,560 mt, -61 percent) and Australia (786 mt, -71 percent) were all sharply lower than a year ago, while exports increased significantly to Russia (10,740 mt, +58 percent), Mexico (6,327 mt, +59 percent) and Chile (1,058 mt, +173 percent).
Russia accounted for 19 percent of Canada’s exports to markets other than the U.S., compared to 11 percent in January 2013. Canadian pork may see further growth opportunities in Russia, as the stoppage of imports from the EU has entered its seventh week. But this has also heightened concerns in the Canadian pork industry about the potential impact of economic sanctions against Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Canada’s pork imports were also lower in January, falling 16 percent to 13,833 mt. Imports were lower from the United States (13,186 mt, -15 percent), but U.S. pork still made up 95 percent of the volume. Imports were also lower from the EU and Chile. U.S. net imports of Canadian pork in January were 9,355 mt, up 27 percent from a year ago but smaller than each of the previous four months. The weaker Canadian dollar has hurt imports from the U.S., even though Canada’s domestic production (3.06 million head, -2 percent) and live hog exports to the U.S. (695,180 head, -15 percent) have been down in 2014.
Canada’s Beef Exports Strong in January; Imports Drop Sharply
Canada’s January beef/beef variety meat exports were up 13 percent from a year ago to 21,357 mt. Exports to the United States were higher (15,500 mt, +4 percent) but strong growth was achieved in Mexico (1,865, +365 percent), Hong Kong (1,746 mt, +35 percent) and China (594 mt, +150 percent).
Canada’s beef imports were down 23.5 percent to 16,235 mt, including smaller volumes from the U.S. (11,394 mt, -27 percent), Uruguay (1,151 mt, -50 percent) and New Zealand (1,114 mt, -18 percent). Imports were larger from Australia (2,310 mt, +29 percent). U.S. net imports of Canadian beef were 3,200 mt in January.
The U.S. was a net beef exporter to Canada from September 2012 through February 2013, and for calendar years 2012 and 2013 net export value was about $300 million per year. Canada’s demand for imports has slumped due to the weaker Canadian dollar and larger domestic cattle slaughter (391,139 head, +6 percent), though live cattle exports to the U.S. are also up 17 percent this year to 178,242 head, trending higher in all categories (feeders, 54,871 head, +45 percent; slaughter cows, 54,223 head, +9 percent; direct slaughter fed cattle, 53,791 head, +2 percent).
Sources: Global Trade Atlas and USDA/AMS
Live figures are Jan. 1 through Feb. 22.