U.S. beef exports for the week of April 3-9 reached a 2015 high of 12,700 metric tons (mt), which was steady year-over-year and a 5 percent increase over the previous four-week average. Exports trended higher for Japan (4,500 mt, +8 percent), South Korea (3,000 mt, +44 percent and the second-largest week this year), Mexico (1,400 mt, +6 percent) and Canada (900 mt, +11 percent), but were lower for Hong Kong (1,900 mt, -15 percent) and Taiwan (500 mt, -14 percent). Despite the weakness to Hong Kong, exports to major Asian markets have remained above year-ago levels in eight of the past 10 weeks.
Beef net sales were 11,200 mt, up 8 percent from the previous four-week average. Compared to a year ago, however, sales have been significantly lower for the past three weeks. Net sales trended higher for Japan (4,900 mt, +10 percent), Mexico (1,800 mt, +84 percent and the largest since February), Taiwan (800 mt, +71 percent) and Canada (800 mt, +32 percent), but lower for Korea (1,900 mt, -21 percent following large sales last week) and Hong Kong (500 mt, -39 percent and the third sluggish week in a row).
U.S. pork exports totaled 20,800 mt, up 1 percent from the previous four-week average with larger shipments to Mexico (6,600 mt, +7 percent), Korea (4,000 mt, +5 percent) and Canada (1,500 mt, +11 percent) mostly offset by lower volumes to Japan (3,200 mt, -12 percent), China (2,000 mt, -2 percent) and Hong Kong (570 mt, -4 percent).
Pork net sales were 16,200 mt, down 26 percent from the previous four-week average and the lowest since early February. Net sales were mainly reported for Mexico (6,000 mt, -21 percent), Canada (3,000 mt, +125 percent), Japan (2,600 mt, +15 percent), Korea (1,200 mt, -32 percent) and the Philippines (1,000 mt, +136 percent following 1,200 mt booked the previous week). After two strong weeks, net sales to China were basically zero (adjusted slightly lower at -19 mt) and sales for Hong Kong were also weak (270 mt, -79 percent).