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International Meat Review - 17 February 2011

24 February 2011

USDA

US beef exports rose by 1.6 per cent in December compared to November and by nearly 33 per cent year on year according to the USDA's INternational Meat Review.

Trade Highlights

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently issued U.S. red meat trade statistics for December 2010 and year end. According to the numbers, U.S. exports of beef and veal cuts and beef variety meats during December totaled 102,915 MT. This was 1.6 percent more than the previous month and was 32.9 percent more than December 2009. Specifically, exports of fresh, chilled beef totaled 36,202 MT, which was up 10.7 percent over the previous month and was up 22.6 percent over December 2009. Exports of frozen beef totaled 33,336 MT, which was down 6.7 percent from the previous month but was up 41.5 percent over December 2009. Exports of beef variety meats during December fell 1.5 percent from November to 29,469 MT. However, this was 31.1 percent more than December 2009. During 2010, total beef variety meat exports reached 307,953 MT, 18.3 percent greater than 2009. Mexico was the largest beef variety meat export market for the U.S. with 87,665 MT, or 28.5 percent of the total. During December, U.S. beef exports to Mexico increased 2.9 percent over the previous month to 23,468 MT. Total beef exports to Mexico during 2010 equaled 247,615 MT, which was 14.9 percent lower than 2009. Mexico was the primary beef export market for the U.S. during 2010 with 23.2 percent of the total exports. U.S. beef exports to Canada during December rose 17.1 percent over the previous month to 15,982 MT. During 2010, beef exports to Canada equaled 153,182 MT, 6.8 percent more than 2009. U.S. total beef exports to Japan during 2010 were 36.3 percent more than 2009, amounting to 124,558 MT. Beef exports to South Korea during 2010 soared 102.7 percent higher than 2009, totaling 112,757 MT. Overall, during 2010, U.S. beef and veal and beef variety meat exports totaled 1,067,323 MT, which was 19.1 percent above 2009 due to strong global demand and a favorable exchange rate. This is the highest yearly total since 2003, which ended the year with 1,274,110 MT of beef exports, when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was first found in the U.S. in December.

During December, U.S. exports of pork cuts and pork variety meats equaled 183,444 MT, which was 5.8 percent higher than the previous month and was 13.5 percent higher than December 2009. More specifically, fresh, chilled pork exports totaled 50,611 MT, which was down 1.9 percent from the previous month but was up 4.1 percent over December 2009. Likewise, frozen pork exports were down 2.6 percent from the previous month but were up 21.4 percent over December 2009, totaling 65,414 MT. During December, exports of pork variety meats rose 31.5 percent over November and 21.2 percent over December 2009 to 46,834 MT. During 2010, total U.S. pork variety meat exports were 4.5 percent more than 2009, totaling 442,138 MT. The largest U.S. pork variety meat export market was Mexico with 148,586 MT, or 33.6 percent of the total. During December, the U.S. exported 53,501 MT of pork to Mexico. This was up 2.2 percent over the previous month. During 2010, U.S. total pork exports to Mexico were 8.6 percent more than 2009, equaling 532,711 MT. Mexico was the leading destination for U.S. pork with 28.3 percent of the total exports. U.S. pork exports to Japan during December fell 4.0 percent from November to 37,391 MT. Total pork exports to Japan during 2010 equaled 434,515 MT, which was 3.3 percent more than 2009. During 2010, pork exports to Canada totaled 182,187 MT, which was up 8.5 percent over 2009. Overall, during 2010, U.S. exports of pork cuts and pork variety meats equaled 1,879,209 MT, 3.2 percent higher than 2009.

During December, U.S. beef and veal imports totaled 47,541 MT. Although this was 9.0 percent higher than November, it was 22.1 percent lower than December 2009. More specifically, fresh, chilled beef imports totaled 24,016 MT, which was down 1.7 percent from the previous month and was down 9.9 percent from December 2009. Frozen beef imports totaled 22,161 MT, which was up 33.4 percent over the previous month but was down 25.6 percent from December 2009. U.S. beef imports from Canada during December equaled 18,358 MT, which was 4.4 percent less than the previous month. During 2010, the U.S. imported 295,580 MT of beef from Canada, which was 6.4 percent greater than 2009. Canada was the main supplier of beef to the U.S. with 38.5 percent of the total imports. During December, the U.S. imported 10,023 MT of beef from Australia, 2.9 percent more than the previous month. Imports of beef from Australia during 2010 were down 28.5 percent from 2009, totaling 188,860 MT. During December, the U.S. imported 9,053 MT of beef from New Zealand, which more than doubled the volume from the previous month. Beef imports from New Zealand during 2010 equaled 156,725 MT, which was 8.8 percent below 2009. U.S. beef imports from Uruguay during 2010 were down 30.1 percent from 2009, totaling 17,253 MT. During 2010, beef imports from Brazil declined 69.7 percent from 2009 to 15,074 MT, as imports from Brazil ceased during the second half of 2010. Overall, during 2010, U.S. beef and veal imports were 11.1 percent below 2009, amounting to 768,018 MT.

U.S. pork imports during December fell 7.5 percent from November and 12.7 percent from December 2009 to 28,981 MT. More specifically, fresh, chilled pork imports totaled 16,574 MT, which was down 12.4 percent from the previous month and was down 23.1 percent from December 2009. Frozen pork imports totaled 7,975 MT, which was up 7.6 percent over the previous month and was up 4.9 percent over December 2009. Pork imports from Canada during December fell 10.8 percent from the previous month to 23,544 MT. During 2010, the U.S. imported 304,971 MT of pork from Canada, which was 3.0 percent higher than 2009. Canada was the leading provider of pork to the U.S. with 83.0 percent of the total imports. During December, pork imports from Denmark totaled 2,641 MT. This was 19.6 percent higher than the previous month. Pork imports from Denmark during 2010 equaled 33,304 MT, which was 3.5 percent less than 2009. Overall, during 2010, U.S. total pork imports were 3.0 percent more than 2009, amounting to 367,321 MT. Additional data is available on the FAS website at http://www.fas.usda.gov/gats.

Recently, the USDA published its USDA Agricultural Projections to 2020 report. According to the report, the expected increase in U.S. meat exports over the next decade is the result of global economic growth, a depreciation of the U.S. dollar, and continued international demand for selected cuts. Recovery in U.S. beef exports to Japan and South Korea is expected to continue. Beef exports from Australia and Canada are expected to increase slowly as both countries continue to rebuild herds. During the projected period, U.S. beef imports from Australia and New Zealand are anticipated to increase. Additionally, U.S. import demand is expected to be supported by moderate beef cow inventories and beef cow slaughter in the U.S. In the meantime, according to the report, production efficiency in the U.S. pork sector will improve the competitiveness of U.S. pork in the international marketplace. However, long term, the gains in U.S. pork exports will be determined by costs of production and environmental regulations, compared to other countries. Japan, South Korea and Mexico will remain key markets for U.S. pork exports in the long term. Russia is expected to reduce pork imports to assist in expansion of their domestic industry. The complete report is available on the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) website at http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/oce111/.

North America

On February 11, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its annual Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations summary report for 2010. According to the report, in 2010, the number of farms in the U.S. is estimated at 2.2 million, nearly unchanged from 2009. The number of operations in the U.S. with cattle totaled 935,000, down from 946,000 in 2009. Beef cow operations totaled 742,000, down from 751,000 in 2009. Hog operations in the U.S. totaled 69,100, down from 74,450 in 2009. In 2010, operations with sheep totaled 81,000, down from 82,000 in 2009. The number of operations with goats equaled 152,000, unchanged from 2009. The entire report can be found on the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

Recently, CanFax issued 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 numbers, Canada’s total cattle on feed on February 1, 2011 equaled 916,805 head. This was 2.5 percent lower than one year ago and was 3.6 percent lower than two years ago. During January, 90,005 head of cattle were placed on feed. This was 27.9 percent less than one year ago and was 14.2 percent less than two years ago. This was also the third lowest placements since 2000. Placements were affected by cold weather and snow in January. The number of steers placed on feed equaled 51,163 head, which accounted for 56.8 percent of the total. Heifers placed on feed equaled 38,842 head. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle weighing less than 600 pounds totaled 11,313 head, which was 26.1 percent higher than a year ago. Placements of feeder cattle weighing 600 to 699 pounds were down 3.8 percent from a year ago, amounting to 19,926 head. Placements weighing 700 to 799 pounds totaled 24,410 head, 39.9 percent lower than last year. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds equaled 34,356 head, which was 36.9 percent less than a year ago. In the meantime, during February, Canada’s fed cattle marketings totaled 143,845 head. Although this was up 2.4 percent over one year ago, it was down 17.0 percent from two years ago. To obtain the complete report, go to the CanFax website at http://www.canfax.ca/.

Pacific Rim

According to the most recent news from a source in South Korea, on February 15, South Korea confirmed another case of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). This brings the total confirmed FMD outbreaks since November 2010 to 147, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. As of late January 2011, all 13 million head of cattle and hogs in South Korea had been vaccinated for FMD. The second round has begun and the country plans to have it completed by the end of February. Additionally, according to a USDA FAS report, as of February 1, 2011, frozen pork and pork belly have been added to the voluntary tariff rate quota (TRQ) list in order to stabilize prices in the middle of a supply shortage.

Oceania

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF) recently published Australia’s red meat export numbers for January 2011. According to the data, during January, Australia’s beef and veal exports totaled 41,561 MT. This was 46.3 percent lower than the previous month and was 7.0 percent lower than January 2010. More specifically, exports of frozen beef equaled 29,558 MT, which comprised 71.1 percent of the total. Exports of fresh, chilled beef equaled 12,003 MT. During January, Australia exported 16,742 MT of beef to Japan. This was down 42.6 percent from the previous month and was down 6.4 from January 2010. Beef exports to Japan accounted for 40.3 percent of the total. During January, Australia exported 7,708 MT of beef to South Korea, which was 36.3 percent less than the previous month but was 30.1 percent more than January 2010. Australia’s beef exports to the U.S. during January fell 32.4 percent from December to 5,975 MT. Also, this was 39.9 percent lower than a year ago.

During January, Australia exported 9,409 MT of lamb. Although this was 33.2 percent lower than the previous month, it was 15.4 percent higher than January 2010. Australia’s lamb exports to the Middle East during January fell 32.9 percent from the previous month to 2,185 MT. However, this was 18.0 percent more than a year ago. The Middle East was Australia’s main lamb export market with 23.2 percent of the total. Lamb exports to the U.S. during January equaled 1,795 MT. This was down 38.4 percent from the previous month and was down 12.4 percent from January 2010. During January, Australia’s lamb exports to China fell 30.4 percent from the previous month to 1,337 MT. However, this was more than three times the volume from a year ago. In the meantime, during January, Australia’s mutton exports equaled 7,315 MT. This was 23.7 percent less than the previous month and was 27.2 percent less than January 2010. Australia’s mutton exports to the Middle East during January totaled 3,557 MT, which was 8.7 percent lower than the previous month and was 18.6 percent lower than a year ago. The Middle East was Australia’s largest market for mutton exports with 48.6 percent of the total. During January, Australia exported 776 MT of mutton to the U.S. This was down 40.2 percent from the previous month and was down 26.7 percent from a year ago. Further data concerning Australia’s red meat exports can be found on the DAFF website at http://www.daff.gov.au/.

Recently, the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) published the results of Australia’s fourth quarter cattle on feed survey. According to the numbers, as of December 31, 2010, Australia’s cattle on feed totaled 737,429 head. This was down 3.7 percent from the previous quarter and was down 4.3 percent from a year ago due to difficult trading conditions for feedlots during December. According to ALFA, increases in feeder cattle prices, a stronger Australian dollar compared to the U.S., and significantly higher grain prices have all negatively impacted trading conditions. The majority of Australia’s cattle on feed were located in the state of Queensland, which had 424,554 head of cattle on feed. This accounted for 57.6 percent of the total. Combined, Queensland and New South Wales had 643,204 head, or 87.2 percent of the total. In the fourth quarter, Australia’s feedlot capacity equaled 1,303,088 head, a new record high. This was 2.0 percent greater than the previous quarter and was 3.0 percent greater than a year ago. Queensland was the state with the largest feedlot capacity with 653,660 head, which comprised 50.2 percent of the total capacity. During the fourth quarter, Australia’s cattle marketings totaled 603,706 head, which was down 15.0 percent from the previous quarter but was up a little over a year ago. Total marketings during 2010 equaled 2,533,611 head, which was up 8.7 percent over 2009 and was up 18.7 percent over 2008. The entire report can be found on the ALFA website at http://www.feedlots.com.au/.

South America

According to Uruguay’s National Institute of Meat (INAC), during 2010, Uruguay’s beef exports fell 6.6 percent from 2009 to 245,789 MT. The decrease was due to a decline in slaughter and an increase in domestic demand and consumption. During 2010, Uruguay exported 81,558 MT of beef to Russia, which accounted for 33.2 percent of the total. Beef exports to the U.S. equaled 20,169 MT, comprising 8.2 percent of the total. Uruguay’s beef exports to Chile during 2010 equaled 14,445 MT, 5.9 percent of the total exports. Uruguay’s cattle slaughter during 2010 totaled 2.20 million head. This was 5.2 percent less than 2009. The decline was mostly the result of the drought in 2008/2009, previous years of high slaughter rates and an increase in live cattle exports. To obtain further data on Uruguay’s meat sector, visit the INAC website at http://www.inac.gub.uy/.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

February 2011

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