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Large Pork Exports May Reflect Uptick in Reporting; Beef Sales Remain Strong

U.S. pork exports for the week of April 11-17 totaled 13,400 metric tons (mt), up 32 percent from the previous four-week average and setting a new a high for the year. The primary destinations were Mexico (2,200 mt, -38 percent), Colombia (1,400 mt, +796 percent), Japan (1,300 mt, -7 percent), Canada (1,100 mt, +46 percent), the Dominican Republic (1,100 mt, +1,193 percent) and Korea (1,070 mt, -19 percent).

Pork net sales of 15,100 mt were up 83 percent from the previous four-week average, with large sales reported for Mexico (4,100 mt, +37 percent), Canada (2,000 mt, +91 percent), Korea (1,600 mt, +56 percent), Colombia (1,400 mt, +1,182 percent) and the Dominican Republic (1,200 mt, +999 percent). Net sales were also reported for Japan (925 mt, -4 percent), China (620 mt, +44 percent) and Hong Kong (413 mt, -47 percent).

It is important to keep in mind that pork export sales reporting just became mandatory in April 2013, and more pork exporters are now reporting data to USDA/FAS. This can include volumes sold or exported earlier in the year, so large increases over the previous four-week average could be an indication of broader compliance rather than reflecting the actual increase in activity. For example, only minimal volumes have previously been reported for Colombia and the Dominican Republic, so it is likely that this week’s report includes exports and sales made earlier in the year by a company that only recently began reporting to USDA/FAS.

Weekly-US-Beef-Exports

U.S. beef exports for the week totaled 11,900 mt, down 3 percent from the previous four-week average. Most major destinations edged lower for the week, including Japan (3,300 mt, -7 percent), Hong Kong (2,200 mt, -8 percent), Mexico (1,900 mt, -9 percent) and South Korea (1,900 mt, -1), but exports were higher for Canada (1,000 mt, +26 percent) and Taiwan (680 mt, +12 percent). Exports have been above year-ago levels for five of the past seven weeks.

Weekly-US-Beef-Sales

Beef net sales of 18,000 mt were up 7 percent from the previous four-week average and were driven by large sales to Mexico (7,200 mt, +159 percent), Korea (3,600 mt, +20 percent) and Canada (1,200 mt, +49 percent). Net sales trended lower for Japan (3,600 mt, -30 percent), Hong Kong (800 mt, -72 percent) and Taiwan (480 mt, -42 percent). Net sales have been above year-ago levels for each of the past six weeks.

NOTES:

  • Source: USDA/FAS (includes exports and sales of whole muscle cuts)
  • Percent change is compared to the previous four-week average, unless otherwise noted
  • Export is defined as an actual shipment from the U.S. to a foreign country.
  • Export sale is defined as a transaction entered into between a reporting exporter and a foreign buyer. Sales can be cancelled or adjusted in following weeks, thus “net” sales are reported as the difference between new sales and any cancelations or adjustments.