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CME: Total Beef Exports for December Up from Last Month

10 February 2020

US - Monthly trade statistics were released by USDA FAS on a product weight basis on 5 February 2020. The next day, USDA ERS released trade statistics on a carcass weight basis, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

The big story from the trade data was the record large pork exports for December at 681.0 million lbs. (carcass weight equivalent), up 9.3 percent from the prior month’s record of 623.3 million lbs. Total beef exports for December were 255.2 million lbs., up 4.4 percent from last month. Total broiler meat exports were down 8.7 percent to 586.5 million lbs. from last month.

Beef exports in 2019 totaled 3.0 billion lbs., down 4.4 percent (138.5 million lbs.) from 2018. Japan captured over a quarter of total beef exports in 2019 and was the top destination at 796.7 million lbs., down 10.0 percent from 2018. South Korea, the number two destination, saw exports rise 7.1 percent to 683.3 million pounds for the year.

Total shipments to Mexico, Canada, and Hong Kong, respectively, were 424.5 million lbs. (down 5.4 percent), 268.1 million lbs. (down 10.6 percent), and 231.3 million lbs. (down 24.7 percent). Exports to China totaled 32.1 million lbs., a 45.9 percent increase from 22.0 million lbs. shipped in 2018.

December exports to China were the largest ever recorded at 5.5 million lbs. shipped in a single month, but China accounted for only 1.1 percent of total exports in 2019.

Total pork exports were 6.3 billion lbs. for 2019, surpassing the prior year’s record by 444.9 million lbs. (7.6 percent increase). In 2019, 22.9 percent of pork production was exported, the highest since 2012. In December, 27.9 percent of pork production was exported, the highest percentage ever recorded for a single month.

Mexico maintained its position as the top destination with almost 1.6 billion lbs., down 11.7 percent. Japan was the number two destination at 1.1 billion lbs., down 5.7 percent from the prior year. China emerged as the number three destination for pork exports, garnering 16.0 percent of total shipments, at just over 1.0 billion lbs., more than three times the amount shipped in 2018.

Of the total pork exports to China in 2019, 46.7 percent (472.8 million lbs.) were shipped in the fourth quarter alone. South Korea and Canada round out the number four and five spots, respectively, with export totals of 624.8 million lbs. (down 14.0 percent) and 554.9 million lbs. (up 4.8 percent).

In 2019, broiler meat exports totaled 7.1 billion pounds, up marginally by 0.6 percent from 2018. Mexico easily led the way with 1.5 billion pounds imported in 2019, up 4.9 percent from last year. Annual shipments to Cuba and Taiwan, the number two and three destinations, respectively, were 484.3 million lbs. (up 12.5 percent) and 455.2 million lbs. (up 3.7 percent). Interestingly, no broiler meat shipments were reported to China during December.

You can view the monthly trade statistics by USDA FAS by clicking here, and to view the trade statistics on a carcass weight basis by USDA ERS, please click here.

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