CME: US Meat Exports Show Muscle

US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 13 August 2008.
calendar icon 14 August 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The latest US meat export numbers are out and they continued to show strong growth. Strong growth was especially dominant in the pork sector. Because of some confusion last month about the slight difference between shipped weight and carcass weight export volumes, this month we decided to go with the ERS carcass weight data series, which is also in pounds rather than metric ton. Below are some of the latest export highlights:

- Total US pork exports in June were 466.2 million pounds, 113% higher than a year ago and 136.5% higher than the five year average. The value of total US pork exports in June (excluding variety meats) was $391.4 million, almost $190 million or 94% higher than a year ago. In the attached chart we calculated that total pork supplies in the US market (net imports and exports but not adjusted for cold storage supplies) were 1.364 billion pounds, 10.3% lower than a year ago.

This is important as it helps explain why pork prices have surged higher despite the 6.5% increase in US pork output in June. Exports to China continue to be very strong and are mostly responsible for the jump in exports in recent months.

Total pork exports to China/Hong Kong in June were 140.1 million pounds, a five fold increase compared to a year ago and the largest monthly export shipment to any country. Exports to Japan also remain very strong, up 29.6% from a year ago, shipments to Mexico increased a whopping 91.1% and exports to Russia were up 129%.

- US beef exports in June also continued to post strong growth despite very limited access to Asian markets. Total US beef exports for the month were 168.3 million pounds, 27.2% higher than a year ago.

Mexico and Canada remain the top markets for US beef, accounting for about 60% of the overall volume. Exports to Japan have increased significantly in recent months, however, in part due to a weaker US currency. Total US beef exports to Japan in Q2 were 72.1 million pounds, 67% higher than a year ago.

- US broiler exports in June cooled off from the record pace set in May. Total broiler exports for the month were 559.3 million pounds just 2% higher than a year ago. In the previous three months, exports were growing at an average 34% rate. The main reason was a decline in exports to Russia, as June shipments to that country fell 35.5%.

Exports More Than Offset Increase in US Pork Supplies, Boost Prices
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