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U.S. Beef Exports Edge Higher; Pork Down from Previous Week’s Large Totals

Weekly Beef Exports

Beef exports for the week of Jan. 17-23 totaled 12,700 mt – up 5 percent from the previous week but 1 percent lower than a year ago. Exports were primarily to South Korea (2,700 mt, +32 percent), Japan (2,500 mt, +60 percent), Mexico (2,100 mt, -6 percent), Hong Kong/Vietnam (2,000 mt, -34 percent), Canada (1,400 mt, -36 percent) and Taiwan (980 mt, +57 percent).

Hong Kong is likely quiet as Lunar New Year begins (although exports to Taiwan were the largest in more than a year) and Korea is also taking more product while it is available. Exports to Canada have slowed due to a weaker Canadian dollar, which is at its lowest value against the U.S. dollar in more than four years. The weaker Mexican peso is also not helping, as it reached its lowest level since summer 2012. Exports to Japan remain strong, albeit at lower volumes than in December.

Weekly-Beef-Sales

Beef net sales of 10,600 mt were lower than the previous week but up 14 percent from a year ago, reflecting larger sales to Japan (3,600 mt) and “other” destinations (1,030 mt). Net sales for major markets other than Japan were lower than a year ago, including Canada (1,900 mt), Mexico (1,300 mt), Hong Kong/Vietnam (1,200 mt) and Korea (1,000 mt).

U.S. pork exports totaled 11,700 mt, down 7 percent from the previous week. Exports were primarily to Mexico (4,400 mt), Korea (1,600 mt), Japan (1,500 mt), Canada (1,200 mt) and Hong Kong (1,100 mt).

Pork net sales of 8,700 mt were down 41 percent from the large volume reported in the previous week, and were mainly for Mexico (4,800 mt), Japan (1,200 mt), Canada (1,000 mt), Ukraine (500 mt) and Korea (400 mt). Net sales for China were less than 300 mt, and sales were negative for Hong Kong (-115 mt) due to cancellations. These results reflect the uncertainty surrounding potential new documentation requirements for China and a slowdown in the market as the Lunar New Year festival is set to get underway.

Notes:

  • Percentage changes cited are year-over year
  • Mandatory pork export sales reporting is still in its early stages and the data only represent 34 percent of chilled/frozen pork exports, so it is difficult to draw meaningful trends from the data.
  • Weekly data only includes exports and sales of whole muscle cuts, reported by the exporters to USDA/FAS Export Sales Reporting.