Jan. 16-22 was a slow week for U.S. beef and pork exports, due in part to the growing congestion in West Coast ports and transportation difficulties in Hong Kong.
U.S. beef exports totaled 10,900 metric tons (mt), down 14 percent year-over-year and down 8 percent from the previous two-week average. Exports gained momentum for South Korea (2,300 mt, +12 percent) and Canada (1,200 mt, +10 percent), but this was offset by slower exports for Japan (3,000 mt, -8 percent), Mexico (1,700 mt, -17 percent), Hong Kong (1,500 mt, -28 percent) and Taiwan (425 mt, -26 percent). Japan was the only destination to take larger volumes compared to the corresponding week in 2014, and exports to Asia over the past two weeks were down 10 percent year-over-year.
Beef net sales were 10,000 mt, down 5 percent year-over-year and down 3 percent from the previous two-week average. Large sales for Japan (3,500 mt, +199 percent) and Korea (2,900 mt, +19 percent) and an improvement for Canada (900 mt, +14 percent) did not fully offset negative net sales for Hong Kong (-1,200 mt). Net sales also slowed for Mexico (2,600 mt, -7 percent) and Taiwan (600 mt, -3 percent).
U.S. pork exports totaled 17,800 mt, down 2 percent from the previous two-week average, as larger volumes for Hong Kong (800 mt, +31 percent), Australia (750 mt, +138 percent) and Colombia (360 mt, +19 percent) did not fully offset slower volumes for Mexico (6,100 mt, -7 percent), Korea (3,300 mt, -14 percent), Japan (2,900 mt, -18 percent) and Canada (1,600 mt, -6 percent). Japan is the largest market for waterborne chilled exports, and the West Coast port issues are likely part of the reason for the slowdown in exports and net sales.
Pork net sales were 16,900 mt, down 35 percent from the previous two-week average. Sales were mainly reported for Mexico (7,000 mt, -27 percent), Korea (3,200 mt, -59 percent), Colombia (1,900 mt, possibly reflecting a long-term contract), Japan (1,000 mt, -67 percent), Australia (900 mt, +64 percent), Canada (600 mt, -76 percent) and Hong Kong (460 mt, -16 percent). It has now been a full month since any significant exports or sales were reported for China.