Canada’s Pork, Beef Exports Trend Lower
First-half exports were down 1 percent to 541,400 mt, with trends similar to those seen in June. Canada’s pork exports to overseas markets have faced challenges similar to the U.S. in 2013: lower frozen volumes to Japan, beta agonist issues in Russia and large domestic production in Korea (Canada also has no FTA with Korea). Exports to the U.S., however, increased 9 percent in the first half of the year to 158,423 mt. U.S. net imports from Canada have been increasing this year, after narrowing the gap in 2011 and 2012. Canada’s pork imports are higher from Germany (1,240 mt, +149 percent), but the U.S. still holds 95 percent of Canada’s imported pork market.
Canada’s hog slaughter (through July 27) was down 1 percent from a year ago to 11.365 million head. Total hogs exported to the U.S. (through July 20) were down 9 percent to 2.9 million head with an 11 percent decline in feeder pigs (2.37 million head).
Canada’s beef and beef variety meat exports in June were down 4 percent from a year ago to 23,222 mt. Exports were higher to Japan (2,390 mt, +151 percent), Hong Kong (1,658 mt, +12 percent) and China (531 mt, up from zero) but did not fully offset smaller volumes to the U.S. (16,055 mt, -10 percent) and Mexico (1,381 mt, -45 percent).
The June results capped a slow first half for Canadian beef exports (139,181 mt, -11 percent). U.S. net imports from Canada have decreased over the past two years, driven by numerous factors including plant closures and smaller beef production in Canada. Canada’s total beef imports were higher in the first half (107,815 mt, +5 percent), including larger volumes from the U.S. (81,510 mt, +8 percent, 75.6 percent market share), Uruguay (8,794 mt, +45 percent) and Australia (7,619 mt, +16 percent).
Canadian cattle slaughter (through July 27) was down 9 percent from a year ago to 1.47 million head. Canada’s live cattle exports to the U.S. (through July 20) were up 37 percent to 596,684 head, including higher exports of feeder cattle (165,140 head, +63 percent), slaughter cows (164,127 head, +91 percent, driven by a plant closure) and direct-slaughter fed cattle (223,301 head, +2 percent).