CME: US Broiler Exports Decrease to Canada, Hong Kong

US - The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published May monthly trade numbers for the protein industries last week. This data is based on the US Department of Commerce trade data, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
calendar icon 11 July 2016
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ERS then calculates and publishes the meat trade numbers on a carcass weight equivalent basis.

Across the protein sectors of beef, pork, and chicken, in May there was a consistent theme of seasonally normal export movements. However, some protein categories were surprising in terms of overall volume movement for the month.

Starting with beef, imports for the month of May were 10 per cent below year ago. The majority of this decrease came from a 35 per cent decrease in imports from Australia compared to May of 2015, with an additional 25 per cent decrease in volume from Brazil and 53 per cent in imports from Uruguay.

Beef imports into the US increased from our immediate neighbours, up 16 per cent from Canada and up 21 per cent from Mexico compared to year ago.

Beef exports for May experienced notable growth and were up 14 per cent year-over-year. Three of our four top beef export destinations increased over 20 per cent year-over-year. Beef exports were up 29 per cent to Japan, 60 per cent to South Korea, 40 per cent to Mexico, and 1 per cent to Canada compared to May 2015.

Year-to-date (through May) beef exports were almost 3 per cent above 2015’s and imports were 12 per cent below 2015’s.

We do expect to continue seeing year-over-year improvements in beef exports due to lower priced product in the US, a more export favourable exchange rate, and comparing to the drop off seen in beef exports July through September of 2015.

Moving on to pork, imports for May were slightly higher than expected at 11 per cent over year ago levels. Increases in pork imports came from Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Pork exports were up 5 per cent year-over-year, and the only main category that showed a counter seasonal movement (up) on export volume.

Pork exports were up 1 per cent to Canada, up 152 per cent to Mainland China, up 100 per cent to Hong Kong, up 11 per cent to Mexico, and up 3 per cent to the Caribbean. Conversely, exports were down 13 per cent to Japan (our second largest pork export destination) and down 34 per cent to South Korea.

Year-to-date, through May, pork exports were 1 per cent higher and imports were 3 per cent higher than in 2015. Seasonally, it is normal for pork export volume to decline from May through late summer, but we expect slight year-over-year gains to be posted in pork export volume for the second half of 2016.

Broiler exports for May continued to move seasonally higher, but also continue to post levels below year ago.

Important to note, it is expected that the majority of year-over-year improvement in broiler exports will be seen starting in June and more obvious in the second half of the year.

For May, broiler exports were down 2 per cent year-over-year. This included a 10 per cent increase in exports to Mexico and a 24 per cent increase to the Caribbean, compared to 2015. However, that was not enough to overcome an 11 per cent and 20 per cent year-over-year decline to Canada and Hong Kong, respectively, as well as declines in product sent to Mainland China, Iraq, and South Korea.

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