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US Beef Trade Balance Moves Towards Exports

31 October 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

US - The US beef trade balance has swung to 30,000 tonnes into the black - 534,181 tonnes exported against 504,575 tonnes imported - over the first eight months of 2013.

According to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia, the figures from the USDA showed that over the same period last year, imports were slightly higher.

The last four months of 2012, however, were heavily weighted towards exports rather than imports, when product from Australia, Canada and NZ dropped off significantly.

Japan is the largest beef export destination for the US so far in 2013, with 147,890 tonnes exported through to August – already a higher volume than the 2012 total, largely due to the relaxing of import restrictions to beef from cattle under 30 months of age.

Similarly, US beef exports to Hong Kong to the end of August were higher than the total 2012 volume, at 66,856 tonnes.

Exports to Canada were also higher, up 14 per cent over the January-August period, to 91,519 tonnes.

The trade to Mexico has declined slightly, down six per cent, to 78,558 tonnes, while exports to Korea have reportedly been impacted by the increased trade to Japan, dropping 22 per cent, to 58,469 tonnes.

As at the end of August, NZ was the largest source of imported beef to the US, at 142,919 tonnes, up seven per cent year-on-year, largely due to a large cow cull early in the year. Australia was the second largest source over this period, with 133,115 tonnes, down by 11 per cent on last year (more recent weekly import data shows that Australia is now the largest source, as at mid-October).

TheMeatSite News Desk

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