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USDA International Meat Review


02 March 2012

USDA International Meat Review - 1st March 2012USDA International Meat Review - 1st March 2012

According to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the US-Korea trade agreement, known as KORUS, will take effect March 15, 2012.
USDA International Meat Review

Trade Highlights

Under the agreement, tariffs would be eliminated on all US frozen pork and some processed frozen pork by January 1, 2016. Fresh, chilled pork will be tariff free within 10 years. Additionally, the agreement will phase out tariffs on US beef over the next 15 years. To read the press release, visit the USTR website at http://www.ustr.gov/.

North America

On February 23, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published the quarterly Outlook for US Agricultural Trade. According to the report, exports of US agricultural products during fiscal year (FY) 2012 are expected to total $131.0 billion, which is down from the November estimate of $132.0 billion. This was 4.7 percent less than 2011. During 2012, exports of livestock products are predicted to total $19.0 billion, up from the November forecast of $18.4 billion due to strong demand from Asia and Mexico. Additionally, this is up 9.7 percent over 2011. Exports of beef and veal during 2012 are forecast at 900,000 MT, unchanged from the prior forecast. The value of beef and veal exports during 2012 is expected to total $4.9 billion, unchanged from the November estimate. US pork exports during 2012 are projected to total 1.8 MMT, which is up from the previous estimate of 1.7 MMT. The value of pork exports is expected to total $5.5 billion, up from the previous forecast of $5.4 billion. During 2012, beef and pork variety meat exports are forecast at 900,000 MT, unchanged from the November estimate. The value of variety meat exports is predicted to total $1.3 billion, unchanged from the prior forecast. Meanwhile, US imports of agricultural products during FY 2012 are forecast at $106.5 billion, up from the November forecast of $105.5 billion. Also, this is 12.7 percent greater than 2011. The value of imports of livestock and meats is forecast at $9.4 billion, higher than the November forecast of $9.1 billion. Also, this is 9.0 percent higher than 2011. Imports of cattle and calves during 2012 are forecast at 2.0 million head, unchanged from the prior estimate. The value of the imports of cattle and calves is expected to total $1.6 billion, up from the previous forecast of $1.5 billion. During 2012, swine imports are forecast at 5.8 million head, slightly higher than the November estimates of 5.7 million head. The value of swine imports is forecast to total $400 million, unchanged from November. Fresh beef and veal imports during 2012 are predicted to equal 700,000 MT, unchanged from the previous forecast. The value of beef and veal imports is pegged at $3.3 billion, up from the prior estimate of $3.1 billion. During 2012, fresh pork imports are expected to total 300,000 MT, down from the November estimate of 400,000 MT due to increasing domestic supply. The value is forecast at $1.3 billion, the same as the previous forecast. To view the detailed report, including a world outlook, go to the ERS website at http://www.ers.usda.gov/.

Statistics Canada recently issued Canada’s semi-annual Cattle Statistics report. According to the data, on January 1, 2012, Canada’s total cattle inventory equaled 12.52 million head, which was up slightly over one year ago but was down 3.0 percent from two years ago. This was the first year-over-year increase in seven years. The province of Alberta had the greatest number of cattle with 5.00 million head, which accounted for 39.9 percent of the total. The inventory in Alberta was nearly 1.0 percent higher than a year ago. Combined, Alberta and Saskatchewan contained 7.60 million head, which comprised 60.7 percent of Canada’s total inventory. As of January 1, Canada’s beef cow inventory totaled 4.23 million head, which was down 1.0 percent from one year ago and was down 3.7 percent from two years ago, continuing a downward trend that started in 2006. The number of beef replacement heifers increased 4.3 percent over one year and 7.3 percent over two years to 554,000 head, indicating herd rebuilding. Slaughter heifers totaled 840,000 head. This was a little less than one year ago and was 6.7 percent less than two years ago. The number of steers, over one year of age, totaled 1.10 million head, which was up 1.5 percent over one year ago but was down 3.8 percent from two years ago. Calves under one year of age numbered 4.14 million head, which was 1.6 percent higher than one year ago but was 3.5 percent lower than two years ago. During 2011, Canada’s cattle slaughter totaled 2,889,627 head, which was 10.0 percent less than 2010.

In addition, Statistics Canada also published Canada’s quarterly Hog Statistics report. According to the data, on January 1, 2012, Canada’s hog and pig inventory totaled 12.02 million head. This was a little higher than the previous quarter and was 1.1 percent higher than a year ago as the result of strong prices. The largest concentration of hogs was located in Quebec with 3.92 million head, which made up 32.6 percent of the total inventory. Quebec’s inventory was slightly more than a year ago. In Eastern Canada, the hog inventory totaled 6.90 million head, which was unchanged from the previous quarter but was a little lower than a year ago. In Western Canada, the hog inventory totaled 5.12 million head, which was nearly 1.0 percent higher than the previous quarter and was 3.1 percent higher than a year ago. On January 1, Canada’s total breeding stock equaled 1.31 million head, which was up a little over the previous quarter but was nearly unchanged from a year ago. Sows and bred gilts numbered 1.29 million head. This was a little higher than the previous quarter but was a little lower than a year ago. The pig inventory was little changed from the previous quarter but was up 1.2 percent over a year ago, amounting to 10.71 million head. During the final quarter of 2011, 720,200 head of sows were farrowed. This was 1.0 percent higher than 2010 and accounted for 54.9 percent of the total breeding herd. The number of pigs born during the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled 7.91 million head, 2.5 percent less than a year ago. Canada’s hog slaughter during 2011 equaled 20,274,431 head, which was nearly unchanged from 2010.

Statistics Canada also released its semi-annual Sheep Statistics report. According to the numbers, Canada’s sheep and lamb inventory on January 1, 2012 totaled 828,600 head. This was up 2.0 percent over one year ago and was up 2.9 percent over two years ago. The majority of Canada’s sheep herd was located in Ontario with 236,000 head, which accounted for 28.5 percent of the total. Ontario’s inventory was 1.7 percent greater than a year ago. Combined, Quebec and Ontario had 466,000 head, which comprised 56.2 percent of Canada’s total sheep herd. Canada’s sheep inventories increased or remained unchanged in all provinces. On January 1, the number of ewes increased slightly over a year ago and increased 1.7 percent over two years ago to 524,500 head. Replacement lambs totaled 82,900 head. This was 4.1 percent higher than one year ago and was 12.0 percent higher than two years ago. Market lambs equaled 197,900 head, which was 4.9 percent more than one year ago and was 2.6 percent more than two years ago. During 2011, Canada’s sheep and lamb slaughter totaled 153,065 head, which was 8.3 percent less than a year ago. To obtain each of Canada’s inventory reports, visit the Statistics Canada website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its reports, US and Canadian Cattle and Sheep and US and Canadian Hogs, on February 21. According to the numbers, as of January 1, 2012, total cattle and calves in the US and Canada equaled 103.28 million head. This was 1.8 percent less than one year ago and was 3.3 percent less than two years ago. Cows and heifers that have calved numbered 44.33 million head, which was 2.1 percent lower than one year ago and was 3.3 percent lower than two years ago. The beef cow inventory fell 2.9 percent from one year ago and 4.6 percent from two years ago to 34.11 million head. The combined calf crops during 2011 equaled 39.98 million head, 1.4 percent less than 2010. Meanwhile, the total hog and pig inventory for the US and Canada equaled 77.95 million head. This was 1.5 percent higher than one year and was 1.6 percent higher than two years ago. The number of hogs kept for breeding totaled 7.12 million head, which was up slightly over one year ago but was down nearly 1.0 percent from two years ago. Market hogs increased 1.6 percent over one year ago and 1.9 percent over two years ago to 70.84 million head. The combined pig crops equaled 36.44 million head, which was 2.3 percent more than one year ago and was 2.8 percent more than two years ago.

In the meantime, the total sheep and lamb inventory in the US and Canada equaled 6.17 million head. This was 1.9 percent lower than one year ago and was 3.9 percent lower than two years ago. The number of breeding sheep and lambs fell 2.1 percent from one year ago and 4.0 percent from two years ago to 4.61 million head. Replacement lambs totaled 733,000 head. This was down 1.6 percent from one year ago but was up a little over two years ago. Market sheep and lambs totaled 1.57 million head, which was 1.3 percent less than one year ago and was 3.7 percent less than two years ago. The combined lamb crops during 2011 totaled 4.34 million head, 1.0 percent less than 2010. The complete reports, which are a joint effort between NASS and Statistics Canada, can be found on the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

On February 24, USDA NASS released its monthly Cattle on Feed report. According to the numbers, cattle and calves on feed for the US slaughter market for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head on February 1, 2012 equaled 11.81 million head. This was 2.1 percent more than one year ago and was 7.8 percent more than two years ago. During January, 1.85 million head of cattle were placed on feed, which was down 2.2 percent from one year ago but was up 1.4 percent over two years ago. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle weighing less than 600 pounds equaled 445,000 head, which was 3.3 percent less than a year ago. Placements weighing 600 to 699 pounds were down 9.5 percent from last year, amounting to 430,000 head. Placements weighing 700 to 799 pounds totaled 525,000 head, 3.5 percent less than a year ago. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds equaled 447,000 head, which was up 9.0 percent over last year. In the meantime, during January, fed cattle marketings equaled 1.82 million head. This was up 2.4 percent over one year ago and was up 2.3 percent over two years ago. Additionally, according to USDA NASS, cattle and calves on feed in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head comprised 84.0 percent of all cattle and calves on feed in the US on January 1, 2012. This is up from 82.2 percent on January 1, 2011. Marketings of fed cattle for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during 2011 represented 87.7 percent of all cattle marketed from feedlots in the US This is up from 84.6 percent during 2010. The complete report, which also includes 2011 monthly cattle on feed estimates, as well as the number of feedlots, inventory, and annual marketings by size group for 2010 and 2011, 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 data, Canada’s total cattle on feed on February 1, 2012 equaled 942,845 head. This was 2.8 percent higher than one year ago and was nearly unchanged from two years ago. During January, 95,729 head of cattle were placed on feed. This was 6.4 percent more than one year ago but was 23.3 percent less than two years ago. The number of steers placed on feed equaled 57,907 head, which accounted for 60.5 percent of the total. Heifers placed on feed equaled 37,822 head. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle weighing less than 600 pounds totaled 12,734 head, which was 12.6 percent higher than a year ago. Placements of feeder cattle weighing 600 to 699 pounds were down 41.0 percent from a year ago, amounting to 11,756 head. Placements weighing 700 to 799 pounds totaled 29,983 head, 22.8 percent more than last year. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds equaled 41,256 head, which was up 20.1 percent over a year ago. In the meantime, during February, Canada’s fed cattle marketings totaled 141,725 head. This was down 1.5 percent from one year but was up nearly 1.0 percent over two years ago. To obtain the complete report, go to the CanFax website at http://www.canfax.ca/.

On February 17, USDA NASS released its annual Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations summary report for 2012. According to the report, in 2011, the number of farms in the US is estimated at 2.2 million, down slightly from 2010. The number of operations in the US with cattle totaled 922,000, down from 935,000 in 2010. Beef cow operations totaled 734,000, down from 742,000 in 2010. In 2011, hog operations in the US totaled 69,100, unchanged from 2010. Sheep operations in the US in 2011 totaled 80,000, which is down from 81,000 in 2010. The number of operations with goats equaled 151,000, down from 152,000 in 2010. The entire report can be found on the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

Pacific Rim

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) recently published South Korea’s beef and pork import data for January 2012. According to the statistics, during January, South Korea imported 22,102 MT of beef, which was down 9.8 percent from the previous month and was down 20.9 percent from a year ago. More specifically, frozen beef imports equaled 18,371 MT, which comprised 83.1 percent of the total imports. Fresh, chilled beef imports equaled 3,731 MT. Beef imports from Australia during January fell 19.0 percent from the previous month to 10,516 MT. Also, this was down 20.3 percent from a year ago. Australia was the main beef import market for South Korea with 47.6 percent of the total. During January, South Korea imported 8,949 MT of beef from the US, which was a little higher than the previous month but was 21.7 percent lower than January 2011. Beef imports from New Zealand during January totaled 2,242 MT, which was up a little over the previous month but was down 21.7 percent from a year ago. In the meantime, during January, South Korea imported 38,079 MT of pork. This was 39.1 percent more than the previous month and was 11.7 percent more than a year ago. Pork imports from the US during January equaled 14,078 MT, which was up 105.0 percent over the previous month and was up 37.2 percent over a year ago. The US was the leading pork import market for South Korea with 37.0 percent of the total. During January, South Korea imported 5,570 MT of pork from Canada. Although this was 12.2 percent higher than the previous month, it was 8.4 percent lower than a year ago. South Korea’s pork imports from Chile during January totaled 2,752 MT, which was 13.5 percent more than the previous month but was 37.7 percent less than a year ago. To obtain additional data on South Korea’s red meat trade, visit the KITA website at http://www.kita.org/.

Oceania

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, 2011, Australia’s cattle on feed totaled 790,975 head. This was up 10.8 percent over the previous quarter and was up 7.3 percent over a year ago. The increase was due to lower feed grain prices and a slightly lower Australian dollar, which offset continued high feeder cattle prices. The majority of Australia’s cattle on feed were located in the state of Queensland, which had 463,521 head of cattle on feed. This accounted for 58.6 percent of the total. Combined, Queensland and New South Wales had 703,675 head, or 89.0 percent of the total. In the fourth quarter, Australia’s feedlot capacity equaled 1,284,416 head. This was 2.6 percent higher than the previous quarter but was 1.4 percent lower than a year ago. Queensland was the state with the largest feedlot capacity with 623,384 head, which comprised 48.5 percent of the total capacity. During the fourth quarter, Australia’s cattle marketings totaled 631,534 head, which was down 2.4 percent from the previous quarter but was up 4.6 percent over a year ago. Total marketings during 2011 equaled 2,501,840 head, which was 1.3 percent less than 2010 but was 7.3 percent more than 2009. The entire report can be found on the ALFA website at http://www.feedlots.com.au/.

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