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Weekly U.S. Beef, Pork Exports: 2013 Ends with Mixed Results

Weekly US Beef Exports

Beef exports for the week of Dec. 13-19 totaled 18,000 mt – the largest of the year and 39 percent above the previous four-week average. Exports were led by large volumes for Mexico (4,500 mt, +81 percent and the largest in three years), South Korea (3,700 mt, +77 percent and the largest since April 2012), Hong Kong (3,100 mt, +6 percent), Japan (2,900 mt, +2 percent), Canada (2,200 mt, +59 percent) and Taiwan (740 mt, +32 percent). Combined exports to the main Asia markets of Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan were the largest of last year, totaling 10,500 mt. Weekly exports to this region exceeded 10,000 mt only two other times in 2013 – once in June and once in August.

Beef net sales for the week (for 2013 delivery) were negative, as increases for Mexico (700 mt), Japan (200 mt), Italy (100 mt) and Egypt (100 mt) were more than offset by reductions for Hong Kong (-4,700 mt), Korea (-2,900 mt), Taiwan (-500 mt) and Canada (-200 mt). However, net sales of 20,400 mt for 2014 delivery offered some optimism after a slow December. Strong sales were reported for Hong Kong (5,500 mt), Korea (4,600 mt) and Mexico (4,500 mt). These were the largest weekly sales for Hong Kong since early September, the largest for Korea since mid-August and the largest for Mexico since mid-November.

Pork exports of 14,000 mt were up 22 percent from the previous four-week average and were primarily to Mexico (5,300 MT, +29 percent), Korea (2,500 mt, +76 percent), Canada (1,500 mt, +23 percent), Hong Kong (1,300 mt, +12 percent) and Japan (1,100 mt, -24 percent).

Weekly US Beef Sales

Net sales for 2013 delivery totaled 5,600 mt and were mainly reported for Mexico (3,400 mt), Japan (1,600 mt), Honduras (500 mt), Australia (500 mt) and Colombia (200 MT). Reductions were reported for Korea (-700 MT) and Hong Kong (-200 MT).

Net sales for 2014 delivery totaled 5,700 MT, including Korea (2,300 mt), Mexico (2,000 mt), Canada (700 mt) and Hong Kong (400 mt).

Holiday week brings lower volumes

U.S. beef exports for the week of Dec. 20-26 followed the downward seasonal trend to end the year at 10,100 mt. Exports were primarily to Japan (2,100 mt), Mexico (2,100 mt), Hong Kong (2,100 mt), Korea (1,800 mt), Canada (700 mt) and Taiwan (700 mt). Accumulated 2013 exports (through Dec. 26) were down 6 percent from the same period in 2012, but the weekly data has understated actual export volumes reflected in the monthly data collected by the Census Bureau. So, USMEF expects actual chilled/frozen beef muscle cut exports for 2013 to be only slightly below 2012.

Beef net sales ended the year with just 2,500 mt for 2013 delivery, which included Canada (600 mt), Mexico (500 mt), Korea (400 mt), Hong Kong (200 mt) and Indonesia (200 mt). Net sales for 2014 delivery totaled 9,200 mt, including Japan (5,000 mt), Korea (2,100 mt) and Canada (900 mt). Small net sales since late November contributed to smaller outstanding sales (sold but not yet shipped) at the end of 2013: 38,699 mt, -35 percent from a year ago. But a large volume of beef has been sold for 2014 delivery, with outstanding sales totaling 57,029 mt (+62 percent from a year ago).

U.S. pork exports for the week totaled 7,900 mt, which were primarily to Mexico (3,100 mt), Japan (1,400 mt), Korea (1,400 mt), Australia (400 mt) and Canada (400 mt). Net sales for 2013 delivery totaled 5,900 mt, mainly for Mexico (3,500 mt), Japan (1,000 mt), China (600 mt), Canada (500 mt) and Korea (200 mt). Net sales for 2014 delivery totaled 11,000 mt, including Hong Kong (8,000 mt), Korea (2,300 mt) and Mexico (700 mt). While it is still difficult to find trends in the pork data, outstanding sales for 2013 totaled 29,630 mt and for 2014 totaled 16,686 mt.

Notes:

  • Percent change is compared to the previous four-week average, unless otherwise indicated.
  • 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.