Meat Market US meat exports struggle
September pork export volume was up 6% from a year ago to 172,012 t. Export value was $456.1 mill., down 11% year-over-year but the highest since May. Pork exports through the first nine months of the year declined 4% in volume (1.58 mill. t) and 17% in value ($4.21 bn.) compared to January–September 2014.
Pork export value per head slaughtered was $46.90 in September, down $11.21 from last year. For January through September, per head value was down $15 to $49.45. January–September exports accounted for just over 24% of total pork production and nearly 21% for muscle cuts only – down from 27% and 23%, respectively, during the first nine months of 2014.
Exports to Mexico, the leading volume destination for US pork, fell slightly in volume in September but climbed 5% through the first nine months of the year to 529,798 t, while export value fell 20% to $932.6 mill.
Other pork export highlights include:
• September exports to Canada were the largest of 2015, though January–September volume was still down 5% to 148,669 t and value was 13% lower at $589.9 mill.
• Central/South America took 89,712 t through September, up 4% from a year ago, as growth to Honduras and Chile offset smaller volumes to Colombia. Export value to the region fell 6% to $226.1 million.
• January–September exports to South Korea were up 34% in volume (129,314 t) and 23% in value ($373.8 mill.), though the market cooled in September, falling below last year’s monthly volumes for the first time in 2015.
• Japan remains the leading value market for US pork, despite January–September value declining 18% year-over-year to $1.23 bn. Export volume to Japan was down 12% to 314,760 t.
Beef export volume fell 21% from a year ago in September to 79,474 t and value was down 28% to $456.6 mill. – the lowest since January. For the first nine months of 2015, exports were down 12% in volume (782,705 t) and 8% in value ($4.8 bn.).
Beef export value in September equated to $233.80 per head of fed slaughter – down nearly $80 from a year ago. For January through September, per-head value was $280.46 – down $6.36 from the same period last year. Exports equated to 13% of total beef production and 10% for muscle cuts only – both down 1%-point from the first nine months of last year.
September exports to leading market Japan fell 34% in volume (15,386 t) and 36% in value ($99.7 mill.) from a year ago. For the first nine months of the year, exports to Japan were down 12% in volume (161,961 t) and 14% in value (just over $1 bn.).
Other notable results for beef exports include:
• September exports to Korea were the lowest since January, but January–September volume was still up 9% to 92,577 t, while value was 4% higher at $612.9 mill.
• Exports to Taiwan were also below year-ago levels in September but still up 5% in volume (26,772 t) and 12% in value ($241.3 mill.) for the first nine months of the year.
• January–September exports to Mexico totaled 161,356 t (down 10% year-over-year), valued at $808.4 mill. (down 6%).
• September exports to Hong Kong rebounded somewhat from low summer totals but results for the first nine months of the year were down 26% in both volume (78,612 t) and value ($565.1 mill.) from a year ago.
For January through September, US lamb exports fell 17% in volume to 6,714 t year-over-year and were down 32% in value to $14.3 mill. Exports expanded to the Middle East – up 49% in volume to 271 t and 2% in value to $874,000 – but declined to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.