Animal agriculture is the largest customer for the U.S. soybean and corn industries, and red meat exports are critical to the viability of animal agriculture in the United States. Soybean and corn producers recognize the importance of red meat exports to their own profitability, and are strong supporters of USMEF. About 9 percent of USMEF’s total funding comes from the soybean checkoff and about 6 percent comes from the corn checkoff.
Every pound of U.S. pork exported represents the utilization of about 0.91 pounds of U.S. soybean meal. Every pound of U.S. beef exported represents the utilization of about 2.6 pounds of U.S. feedgrains.
UPDATE: In December 2018, USMEF released an updated version of an independent study aimed at quantifying the returns red meat exports provide to U.S. corn producers. The original study was conducted in 2016, using 2015 export data. Key findings from the updated study, conducted by World Perspectives Inc., include:
– In 2018, U.S. beef and pork exports will use a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced, which is an
increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections.
– Since 2015, one in every four bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports.
– About 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports.
– Red meat exports’ impact on corn price is 39 cents per bushel (based on annual average price of $3.53 per bushel).
– There would be a loss of $5.7 billion in corn value without red meat exports.
Read more about the study in this USMEF news release.
UPDATE: In July 2019, USMEF released an updated version of this study using 2018 export data. The updated study also provides more details on the value of red meat exports to U.S. soybean producers. The full report is available online and includes these highlights:
– Through the 2016 to 2018 period, red meat exports exceeded what was forecast in USDA’s 2016 baseline by 1.396 billion
– Beef exports were at record levels in 2018, and pork exports set new highs in 2016 and 2017, and came within a half a percent of record volume in 2018.
– In 2018, exports accounted for 14.6 percent of total U.S. beef production and 25.7 percent of U.S. total pork production, and accounted for 459.7 million bushels of corn utilization with a market value of $1.62 billion at the year-average market price; 2 million tons of DDGS use – with a market value of $291 million at the year-average market price; and 2 million tons of soybean meal disappearance, which is the equivalent of 84.2 million bushels of soybeans – with a market value of $783 million at the year-average market price
– Since 2015, meat exports represent the fastest growing category of corn and soybean meal use. Over that period, one in every four bushels of added feed demand for corn was due to beef and pork exports and one in every 10 tons of added feed demand for soybean meal use was due to pork exports.
– Beef and pork exports are an increasingly important driver of value to U.S. farmers; in 2018, meat exports contributed $0.39 per bushel to the price of corn, and $0.85 per bushel to the price of soybeans.
– Without red meat exports, corn growers would have lost $5.7 billion in 2018 and soybean farmers
would have lost $3.9 billion.
– Over the next 10 years, meat exports are forecast to generate a projected $30.8 billion in cumulative annual market value to corn and soybeans based on USDA’s long-term forecast for crop prices.
– Maintaining global market access for U.S. beef and pork is critical to this growth and to the continued
value that meat exports bring to corn and soybeans.
This soybean fact sheet, also prepared by World Perspectives, shows that in 2018, pork exports added $.85 (or 9%) to every bushel of U.S. soybeans, meaning that the total market value added to U.S. soybean through exports of pork was $783 million. Without pork exports, World Perspectives estimates soybean growers would have lost $3.9 billion in revenue in 2018.
State-specific fact sheets on how red meat exports benefit producers in the top corn and soybean producing states are available on this web page.