CME: US Meat and Chicken Exports Soar

US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 11th June, 2008.
calendar icon 12 June 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

Wow! Another record day for E-Lean Hogs — that makes 3 in the last 4 days! Many thanks!

U.S. meat and chicken exports continued at a torrid pace during April with pork exports nearly doubling those of April 2007 (+95.9%), beef exports posting a healthy gain of 29% and broiler exports growing by 40% versus one year ago. The U.S. dollar was at or near its historic low during most of April, providing a price advantage for U.S. meat and poultry products in most importing countries. While the shortage of refrigerated containers was already an issue in April, our impression is that it did not become a major factor until later in the month, thus allowing this outstanding performance by U.S. exports. Graphs of monthly data for all three prices appear at right.

E-Livestock Volume 6/11/08 6/10/08 6/4/08
LE (E-Live Cattle): 14,933 8,129 7,955
GF (E-Feeder Cattle): 754 431 177
HE (E-Lean Hogs): 26,321** 23,963** 15,276
**Denotes a new record for Globex volume

April pork exports amounted to 439.47 million pounds carcass weight and accounted for 21.2% of April pork production. April exports broke the monthly record that was set in February and put 2008 year-todate exports up 52%. Leading the way, of course, were shipments to China-Hong Kong that were up 535% from last April’s level and put year-to-date exports 360% higher than last year’s level. Japan remains the largest customer for U.S. pork, though, and April shipments to Japan were 36% larger than last year putting yearto- date shipments 14% larger — not too shabby even for a well-established customer. Shipments to virtually all other major markets for U.S. pork were also higher in April. Even shipments to Korea, which has been decidedly soft market for the past year or so, were up 43% from last April, pushing year-to-date 2008 shipments above last year. Taiwan is the only traditional leader among U.S. markets that is below 2007 levels year-todate. Finally, shipments to Mexico show definite signs of recovery with April exports 55% higher versus last April and year-to-date shipments now standing 10% larger.

April was also a terrific month for U.S. broiler exports, posting the second highest monthly total in history. The total of 591.5 million pounds, ready-to-cook weight, was 40% larger than last year and year-todate exports of 2.515 billion pounds are now 19% higher than in 2007. Russia remained the largest destination for U.S. chicken in April, receiving 193.8 million pounds (38%) more than last year. Year-to-date shipments to Russia were 26% higher at the end of April. Thus far, Russia and Japan have banned poultry imports from only Arkansas in the wake of the discovery of low-pathogenic avian influenza in samples taken from a breeder hen farm on May 30.

Finally, U.S. beef exports in April were 29% higher than last year. That brings year-to-date beef exports to 495.4 million pounds, 33% higher than in 2007. Mexico and Canada remain the largest export markets for U.S. beef. Shipments to Japan continue to grow with April shipments coming in 81% larger than last year. YTD trade with our former #1 beef customer is now 39% higher. Shipments to Korea were still quite small and the entire export resumption situation appears to be up in the air once again. It is never a good sign when the people you thought were on your side in a disagreement (ie. the Korean president and his administration) start apologizing for doing what you wanted done. Another chapter in the soap opera it appears.

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