Beef export value nearly $220 per head in November

Jan 27, 2012
by WLJ

Beef exports performed well in November, according to statistics released by US- DA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), reaching 105,268 metric tons valued at $456.25 million. This was steady with the October 2011 volume and up slightly in value.

On a year-over-year basis, November exports were up 4 percent in volume and 17 percent higher in value from the very strong totals recorded in November 2010.

This boosted the January- November export total 22 percent higher in volume than a year ago to 1.179 million metric tons, and up 35 percent in value to $4.944 billion. When December results become available, beef export value will eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever.

November beef exports equated to 14 percent of total production when including variety meat, or 11 percent for muscle cuts only. This was consistent with the 2011 average but up significantly from the 2010 ratios of 11.7 percent for total production and 9 percent for muscle cuts. November exports equated to $219.73 per head of fed slaughter, up $41.50 from a year ago. For January-November, export value averaged $204.27 per head, more than $50 higher than the previous year’s average.

Beef exports to Canada posted another strong month, solidifying it as the leading value destination for 2011 and ensuring a $1 billion performance by year’s end. For January through November, exports to Canada totaled 174,122 metric tons (up 27 percent) valued at $940.5 million (up 43 percent).

Mexico is still the volume leader for U.S. beef exports, despite a slight slowdown in volume in November. Export volume in November was down 4 percent to 21,884 metric tons, but value still climbed 6 percent to $84.6 million (trailing only Japan). For the year, ex ports to Mexico were up 5 percent in volume to 234,888 metric tons and were 23 percent higher in value to $902.8 million.

Japan was the leading value destination for U.S. beef in November at $85.3 million, up nearly 40 percent from a year ago. Export volume was 18 percent higher at 14,312 metric tons. For the year, exports to Japan were up 29 percent in volume to 148,182 metric tons and 38 percent in value to $812.1 million.

November exports to South Korea, Hong Kong and the Middle East were all lower than a year ago, but all of these markets were still up solidly for the year. In fact, Hong Kong and the Middle East had already set new annual volume and value records in October.

Exports to Russia were also slightly lower in volume in November but more than 60 percent higher in value. Russia had already set a new annual value record in October which has now reached $243.6 million. Led by surging exports to Chile, the Central-South America region has also set new records this year for both volume (23,340 metric tons, up 50 percent) and value ($75 million, up 76 percent).

“There is much to be excited about this year with regard to U.S. beef exports,” said Phil Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “Not only are we going to break $5 billion for the first time ever, we are gaining back valuable market share in Asia and taking exports to new heights in other regions across the globe. Demand for U.S. beef has never been greater, and this is generating a lot of momentum for 2012.”

U.S. pork exports set another monthly volume record in November, according to USMEF, which helped offset record-high production and provide a significant boost to pork cutout values. Exports totaled 217,080 metric tons valued at $597.85 million, up 22.5 percent and 35 percent, respectively, over November 2010. This boosted the January-November volume to tal

to 2.04 million metric tons (up 18 percent yearover-year) and the value total to $5.526 billion (up 27 percent). This puts U.S. pork export value, which had never reached $5 billion before this year, on pace to approach the $6 billion mark in 2011.

U.S. lamb export value reached $27.76 million through November, up 49 percent from a year ago and just edging the previous annual record of $27.75 million (set in 2006) with a month remaining in the year. — WLJ