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International Meat Review - 2 September 2010.

09 September 2010

On August 30, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) released a special report, Japan’s Beef Market. The publication discusses the importance of Japan’s beef consumption to U.S. agriculture, according to teh USDA's International Meat Review.

For over 15 years, Japan’s beef consumption has been rocked by unexpected happenings in the market. Beef in Japan is either imported, with a large share coming from the U.S., or is domestically produced with U.S. feedstuffs. After the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. in late 2003, Japan completely banned beef imports from the U.S.; and even now, the U.S. has limited access to Japan’s market. The study made a couple findings. Japan’s beef consumption is sensitive to income and price changes. When the price of U.S. beef declines, Japan’s beef imports from the U.S. are likely to increase. Japan’s domestic beef production has not filled the void left by the ban of U.S. beef imports. Recently, Japan has increased its demand for U.S. corn and barley as its beef industry has enhanced its feeding to improve certain beef attributes. Some lower priced cuts of U.S. beef, primarily end cuts and offals, are considered good value in Japan. However, current rules in Japan limit the supply of these products and raise the import prices. If these rules were to change, prices would decline and Japan would increase imports of these products. To obtain the complete report, visit the ERS website at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/LDP/2010/08Aug/LDPM19401/.

North America

On August 31, the USDA Economic Research Service and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published the quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade. According to the report, during fiscal year (FY) 2011, U.S. agricultural exports are forecast at $113.0 billion, up from $107.5 billion a year ago. The increase is due largely to greater grain and feed exports. Exports of livestock products in 2011 are predicted to total $13.9 billion, up 3.7 percent over 2010. Beef and veal exports during 2011 are expected to equal 700,000 MT, valued at $3.2 billion. The 2010 forecast is 700,000 MT, with a value of $3.2 billion. During 2011, pork exports are forecast at 1.6 MMT, with a value of $4.5 billion. The 2010 estimate is 1.5 MMT, valued at $4.2 billion. The higher pork exports are due to expected growth in the markets of Japan and Mexico. Beef and pork variety meat exports during 2011 are expected to total 700,000 MT, unchanged from 2010. The value of variety meat exports in 2011 is forecast at $1.0 billion, up from $900 million. During FY 2011, U.S. agricultural imports are predicted to total $81.5 billion, up from $77.0 billion in 2010 due to an increase in import demand. During 2011, the U.S. is expected to import $8.1 billion of livestock and meat. This is up from the 2010 forecast of $7.7 billion. Imports of cattle and calves during 2011 are expected to total 2.0 million head, with a value of 41.4 billion. This is compared to 2.2 million head in 2010, with a value of $1.5 billion. During 2011, swine imports are forecast to total 5.9 million head and are estimated to value $300 million. Swine imports during 2010 are expected to equal 5.8 million head, with a value of $300 million. U.S. imports of fresh beef and veal during FY 2011 are forecast at 900,000 MT, compared to 800,000 MT in 2010. The value of beef and veal imports during 2011 is expected to total $3.3 billion, up from $2.9 billion in 2010. U.S. imports of fresh pork during 2011 are forecast at 400,000 MT, unchanged from 2010. The value of pork imports is projected at $1.1 billion, also unchanged from 2010. To view the entire report, visit the ERS website at http://www.ers.usda.gov/.

On August 20, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued its monthly Cattle on Feed report. According to the data, cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head on August 1, 2010 equaled 9.87 million head. This was 2.4 percent more than one year ago and was unchanged from two years ago. The number of cattle placed on feed during July fell 5.9 percent from one year ago to 1.75 million head. However, this was 5.9 percent higher than two years ago. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle weighing less than 600 pounds totaled 415,000 head, 8.8 percent lower than a year ago. Placements weighing 600 to 699 pounds were down 16.4 percent from last year, amounting to 305,000 head. Placements of feeder cattle weighing 700 to 799 pounds declined 2.0 percent from a year ago to 449,000 head. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds equaled 585,000 head, unchanged from last year. Meanwhile, during July, marketings of fed cattle fell 1.7 percent from one year ago and 6.6 percent from two years ago to 1.90 million head. This was the lowest fed cattle marketings for the month of July since the series began in 1996. The complete report can be found at the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

USDA FAS recently published statistics for U.S. lamb, sheep and goat meat trade. The data includes fresh, chilled and frozen product, as well as carcasses, cuts and bone-in and boneless product. According to the numbers, during the second quarter of 2010, U.S. exports of lamb and sheep meat totaled 1,653 MT. This was down 33.7 percent from the previous quarter and was down 4.5 percent from a year ago. Lamb and sheep meat exports to Mexico during the second quarter fell 37.2 percent from the previous quarter to 810 MT. However, this was 50.1 percent higher than a year ago. During the first half of 2010, U.S. lamb and sheep meat exports to Mexico totaled 2,100 MT, which was 84.9 percent above a year ago. Mexico was the largest lamb and sheep meat export market for the U.S. with 50.7 percent of the total. During the second quarter, the U.S. exported 258 MT of lamb and sheep meat to the Netherlands. This was down 13.5 percent from the previous quarter and was down 50.4 percent from a year ago. Total year-to-date lamb and sheep meat exports to the Netherlands were 19.5 percent less than last year, amounting to 555 MT. Overall, during the first half of 2010, U.S. lamb and sheep meat exports totaled 4,145 MT, which was 26.6 percent greater than the same period a year ago. In the meantime, during the second quarter of the year, the U.S. imported 18,109 MT of lamb and sheep meat. This was 8.1 percent less than the previous quarter and was 1.8 percent less than a year ago. Lamb and sheep meat imports from Australia during the second quarter fell 9.7 percent from the previous quarter to 10,927 MT. Also, this was 15.1 percent lower than a year ago. During the first half of the year, the U.S. imported 23,033 MT of lamb and sheep meat from Australia, which was 17.4 percent below a year ago. Australia was the main supplier of lamb and sheep meat to the U.S. with 60.9 percent of the total imports. Lamb and sheep meat imports from New Zealand during the second quarter equaled 7,174 MT. Although this was down 5.3 percent from the previous quarter, it was up 29.7 percent over a year ago. Total year-to-date lamb and sheep meat imports from New Zealand equaled 14,748 MT, 31.8 percent greater than a year ago. Overall, U.S. total lamb and sheep meat imports during the first half of 2010 equaled 37,806 MT, 3.4 percent less than the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, during the second quarter of 2010, the U.S. imported 2,833 MT of goat meat. This was 26.7 percent less than the previous quarter and was 1.9 percent less than a year ago. Goat meat imports from Australia during the second quarter equaled 2,766 MT. Although this was 27.7 percent lower than the previous quarter, it was 1.2 percent more than a year ago. Year-to-date goat meat imports from Australia were 26.8 percent higher than last year, amounting to 6,589 MT. Australia was the primary source of U.S. goat meat imports with 98.4 percent of the total. Overall, U.S. total goat meat imports during the first half of 2010 equaled 6,699 MT, which was 23.9 percent above the same period last year. Further data can be found on the FAS website http://www.fas.usda.gov/gats/.

CanFax recently released Canada’s current cattle on feed numbers for terminal feedlots with 1,000 or more head in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. According to the figures, as of August 1, 2010, Canada’s cattle on feed equaled 639,857 head. This was down slightly from one year ago and was down 5.0 percent from two years ago. During July, the number of cattle placed on feed fell 23.4 percent from one year ago and 26.3 percent from two years ago to 62,635 head. Steers placed on feed totaled 39,666 head, which comprised 63.3 percent of the total. Heifers placed on feed totaled 22,969 head. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle weighing less than 600 pounds equaled 3,932 head, which was up 111.3 percent over a year ago. Placements weighing 600 to 699 pounds were down 20.8 percent from last year, amounting to 2,155 head. Placements of feeder cattle weighing 700 to 799 pounds declined 51.9 percent from a year ago to 8,349 head. Finally, placements of feeders weighing more than 800 pounds totaled 48,199 head, 19.4 percent less than a year ago. Meanwhile, during July, Canada’s fed cattle marketings equaled 198,704 head. This was 1.4 percent one than one year ago and was 9.5 percent more than two years ago. To obtain the entire report, go to the CanFax website at http://www.canfax.ca/.

Recently, Statistics Canada published Canada’s Cattle Statistics. According to the numbers, on July 1, 2010, Canada’s total cattle inventory equaled 14.01 million head. This was 4.9 percent lower than one year ago and was 7.8 percent lower than two years ago. According to CanFax, this was the smallest inventory since 1994. Canada’s cattle herd has been steadily declining since its peak in 2005 of 16.9 million head due to weak economic recovery, uncertainty in markets and producers leaving the cattle industry. The majority of Canada’s cattle herd was located in the province of Alberta with 5.51 million head, or 39.3 percent of the total inventory. Alberta’s cattle inventory was down 5.6 percent from a year ago. Additionally, cattle inventories declined from a year ago in each of Canada’s provinces. Combined, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan contained 8.61 million head of cattle, which was 61.4 percent of Canada’s total inventory. Beef cows in Canada totaled 4.36 million head, which was 5.1 percent less than one year ago and was 10.4 percent less than two years ago, indicating that the beef herd is not rebuilding. The number of beef replacement heifers declined 2.3 percent from one year ago and 4.7 percent from two years ago to 624,000 head. Slaughter heifers numbered 1.15 million head, which was 5.9 percent lower than one year ago and was 2.2 percent lower than two years ago. The inventory of steers over 12 months of age totaled 1.50 million head. This was down 10.1 percent from one year ago and was down 5.1 percent from two years ago. Calves under 12 months of age equaled 4.71 million head, which was 4.4 percent less than one year ago and was 9.5 percent less than two years ago. During the first half of 2010, Canada’s cattle slaughter totaled 1.57 million head, which was up 3.7 percent over one year ago and was up 2.1 percent over two years ago.

Additionally, Statistics Canada released its quarterly Hog Statistics report. According to the numbers, Canada’s hog and pig inventory on July 1, 2010 equaled 11.78 million head. Although this was 1.2 percent more than the previous quarter, it was 2.4 percent less than a year ago. The hog and pig inventory in Eastern Canada totaled 6.85 million head, which was 1.3 percent higher than the previous quarter but was 3.2 percent lower than a year ago. The inventory in Western Canada totaled 4.93 million head, which was 1.0 percent higher than the previous quarter but was 1.1 percent lower than a year ago. The province with the greatest hog and pig inventory was Quebec with 3.93 million head, or 33.3 percent of the total. Quebec’s inventory was 1.4 percent more than a year ago. Canada’s breeding inventory totaled 1.31 million head. This was nearly unchanged from the previous quarter but was down 5.0 percent from a year ago. On July 1, Canada’s pig inventory equaled 10.48 million head. This was 1.3 percent higher than the previous quarter but was 2.0 percent lower than a year ago. The number of sows farrowed during the second quarter of 2010 totaled 705,000 head, which was down 4.3 percent from a year ago. This accounted for 54.0 percent of the total breeding herd. Pigs born during the second quarter numbered 7.63 million head, 4.2 percent less than last year. Canada’s hog slaughter during the first half of 2010 equaled 9.92 million head, which was slightly less than one year ago but was 1.4 percent more than two years ago.

Statistics Canada also published Canada’s Sheep Statistics report. According to the numbers, as of July 1, 2010, Canada’s total sheep and lamb inventory equaled 1.04 million head. This was 1.9 percent less than one year ago and was 1.9 percent less than two years ago. The largest concentration of Canada’s sheep herd was in the province of Ontario with 310,000 head, or 29.7 percent of the total. Ontario’s sheep inventory was 1.6 percent less than last year. Canada’s ewe inventory totaled 538,700 head, which was down 1.9 percent from one year ago and was down 1.4 percent from two years ago. The number of replacement lambs was slightly less than one year ago and was 1.3 percent less than two years ago, totaling 93,000 head. The market lamb inventory totaled 387,400 head, 2.4 percent lower than one year and than two years ago. During the first half of 2010, Canada’s sheep slaughter totaled 76,160 head, which was 2.7 percent less than one year ago and was 4.6 percent less than two years ago. To obtain all of Canada’s complete livestock inventory reports, go to the Statistics Canada website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/.

USDA NASS released its semi-annual U.S. and Canadian Cattle and Sheep and U.S. and Canadian Hogs reports on August 19. According to the data, as of July 1, 2010, total cattle and calves in the U.S. and Canada equaled 114.81 million head. This was 1.6 percent less than one year ago and was 3.1 percent less than two years ago. Cows and heifers that have calved totaled 46.14 million head, which was 1.8 percent lower than one year ago and was 3.6 percent lower than two years ago. The beef cow inventory was down 2.0 percent from one year ago and was down 3.9 percent from two years ago, totaling 36.06 million head. The combined calf crop during 2009 totaled 40.90 million head, which was 1.3 percent less than 2008. Meanwhile, the total hog and pig inventory for the U.S. and Canada equaled 76.18 million head. This was down 3.4 percent from one year ago and was down 5.2 percent from two years ago. The number of hogs kept for breeding fell 3.4 percent from one year ago to 7.09 million head. Also, this was 6.4 percent lower than two years ago. Market hogs equaled 69.09 million head. This was down 3.4 percent from one year ago and was down 5.1 percent from two years ago. The combined pig crop of both countries totaled 35.20 million head, which was 3.1 percent less than one year ago and was 3.4 percent less than two years ago. In the meantime, the total sheep and lamb inventory in the U.S. and Canada equaled 7.94 million head. This was 2.1 percent lower than one year ago and was 4.7 percent lower than two years ago. The number of breeding sheep declined 2.6 percent from one year ago to 4.82 million head. Additionally, this was 4.9 percent less than two years ago. Market sheep and lambs totaled 3.13 million head. This was down 1.3 percent from one year ago and was down 4.3 percent from two years ago. During 2009, the combined lamb crop totaled 4.52 million head, which was unchanged from 2009. To obtain the entire reports, which are a joint effort between NASS and Statistics Canada, visit the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

Pacific Rim

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) recently issued South Korea’s beef and pork import numbers for July 2010. According to the data, during July, South Korea imported 21,575 MT of beef. This was nearly unchanged from June but was up 21.3 percent over July 2009. More specifically, frozen beef imports equaled 17,939 MT, which accounted for 83.1 percent of the total. Fresh, chilled beef imports equaled 3,637 MT. South Korea’s beef imports from Australia during July rose 6.8 percent over the previous month and 14.1 percent over July 2009 to 11,648 MT. Total year-todate beef imports from Australia equaled 76,649 MT, which was 8.7 percent above last year. Australia was the largest supplier of beef to South Korea with 52.4 percent of the total imports. During July, South Korea imported 7,000 MT of beef from the U.S. This was 3.7 percent higher than the previous month and was 53.1 percent higher than July 2009. Year-to-date beef imports from the U.S. were 30.5 percent more than last year, amounting to 44,591 MT. Beef imports from New Zealand during July totaled 2,756 MT, which was 22.7 percent lower than the previous month and was 3.6 percent lower than July 2009. Year-to-date beef imports from New Zealand totaled 23,312 MT, which was 14.2 percent more than last year. Overall, South Korea’s total year-to-date beef imports equaled 146,244 MT, 21.1 percent above the same period a year ago due to strong consumer demand and weaker domestic cattle slaughter. In the meantime, South Korea’s pork imports during July fell 16.5 percent from June and 12.3 percent from July 2009 to 21,353 MT. Pork imports from the U.S. during July totaled 5,519 MT. This was 24.8 percent less than the previous month and was 17.4 percent less than July 2009. Total year-to-date pork imports from the U.S. equaled 47,544 MT, which was 11.9 percent below a year ago. The U.S. was the primary provider of pork to South Korea with 27.7 percent of the total imports. During July, South Korea imported 3,491 MT of pork from Canada, which was down 26.9 percent from the previous month and was down 18.9 percent from July 2009. Year-to-date pork imports from Canada were 1.2 percent less than last year, amounting to 33,203 MT. Pork imports from Chile during July equaled 3,204 MT. This was 5.6 percent lower than the previous month and was 30.3 percent lower than July 2009. South Korea’s year-todate pork imports from Chile totaled 24,822 MT, which was 6.0 percent more than last year. Overall, South Korea’s total year-to-date pork imports equaled 171,336 MT, 1.4 percent below the corresponding period a year ago. Additional data on South Korea’s meat trade can be found on the KITA website at http://www.kita.org/.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

September 2010

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