U.S. beef exports for the week of Feb. 27 through March 5 totaled 12,600 metric tons (mt) – the largest so far this year, narrowly eclipsing the first week of January. Exports were up 9 percent from the previous four-week average, with larger shipments to Japan (3,900 mt, +46 percent), Hong Kong (3,100 mt, +55 percent and the largest since early December) and Taiwan (800 mt, +34 percent). Volumes were smaller for South Korea (1,700 mt, -37 percent), Mexico (1,500 mt, -14 percent) and Canada (700 mt, -17 percent). Beef exports to Asia have been higher than a year ago in four of the past five weeks, likely reflecting some improvement in the West Coast port situation.
Beef net sales were also strong at 17,300 mt, the largest since October and up 47 percent from the previous four-week average, though still down 3 percent year-over-year. Sales trended higher for Hong Kong (7,100 mt, +196 percent and the largest since early November), Taiwan (1,100 mt, +111 percent) and Korea (2,400 mt, +36 percent), which offset slower bookings for Mexico (900 mt, -49 percent) and Canada (660 mt, -20 percent). Sales for Japan were steady at 3,900 mt.
U.S. pork exports also reached a 2015 high of 20,600 mt, up 19 percent from the previous four-week average. Shipments were larger to Mexico (7,800 mt, +14 percent), Japan (4,100 mt, +45 percent), Canada (1,400 mt, +3 percent), China (800 mt, the first significant shipments since December), Australia (655 mt, +35 percent) and Hong Kong (500 mt, +48 percent), offsetting smaller volumes to Korea (3,100 mt, -16 percent) and Colombia (500 mt, -10 percent).
Pork net sales were 18,700 mt, down 15 percent from the previous four-week average. Larger sales for Canada (1,500 mt, +58 percent), Colombia (1,300 mt, +71 percent) and Hong Kong (1,000 mt, the largest since early December) were offset by lower totals for Japan (3,400 mt, -33 percent) and Korea (3,000 mt, -15 percent). Sales were roughly steady for Mexico (5,800 mt, -1 percent). Slightly negative net sales were reported for China (-52 mt) following strong sales in three of the past four weeks.