Loss of the Russian market influenced US meat...

Loss of the Russian market influenced US meat exports

Following statistics released by USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) the inability of the United States to ship beef and pork to Russia continues to put a damper on US red meat exports this year.

May beef results

In May, total US beef (muscle cut and variety meat) exports rose 3% over last year's levels to 97,820 t valued at $513.6 mill., a 9% increase. They accounted for 10% of beef muscle cut production and 12.7% of beef and variety meat production, similar levels to last year.

For January through May, export volumes dipped 3% to 440,840 t valued at $2.26 bill., a 3% increase over last year's record-setting pace.

The value of beef exports in May equated to $231.67 per head of fed slaughter, up from $207.09 last year. The year-to-date export value averaged $220.59 per head, up more than $10 from last year's total of $209.97.

Markets where access for US beef has improved this year led the way in May. Japan jumped 74% to 28,122 t, just 8% shy of totals posted in May 2003. Beef exports also rose to Hong Kong (56% to 7,182 t) while Taiwan's totals increased from 282 t last year to 2,720 t this May.

Exports were also steady to higher for: Canada (13,975 t, +1%), Egypt (11,364 t, steady), Central/South America (3,979 t, +15% driven by larger volumes to Chile) and the Caribbean (1,678 t, +2% on larger volumes to Jamaica).

Beef exports to Russia in May fell from 7,906 t last year to 4 t this year. For the year, exports to Russia are down 99% in volume (from 30,547 t to 35 t) and 99% in value (from $133.77 mill.).

Besides Russia, countries where beef exports remain challenged include Mexico (15,140 t, -4.5%), South Korea (7,367 t, -33%), and ASEAN (1,372 t, -59% on smaller volumes to Vietnam and the Philippines).

Mexico is buying less beef as consumers turn to more affordable proteins like poultry and pork. US poultry exports to Mexico were up 19% through May to 356,253 t. At the same time, South Korea's increased domestic beef production, combined with lower-priced Australian product, has dampened demand for high-quality US beef.

Through May, Japan was the leading destination for US beef with exports up 56%. They accounted for 20% of all US beef exports by volume and 24% of export value. Mexico was No. 2 in volume but Canada was second in value. South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Egypt rounded out the top seven in value. The volume ranking was: Japan, Mexico, Canada, Egypt, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

May pork results

Total pork exports in May improved over 2013 trends but still dipped 3.3% to 180,637 t valued at $505.4 mill., a 3.6% decline from last year. They accounted for 23% of muscle cut production and 26.4% of muscle cuts plus variety meat, similar to last May.

For the first five months of the year, exports were down 9% to 882,905 t valued at $2.47 bill., down 8%.

The value of pork exports in May equated to $54.85 per head of fed slaughter, down from $56.47 last year. The year-to-date export value averaged $53.14 per head, down from $58.36 last year.

May pork exports were led by another strong month for Mexico (52,295 t, +11%) and steady year-over-year volumes to Japan (37,108 t). Exports also were larger for Central/South America (10,008 t, +58%, led by growth to Colombia, Chile and Honduras), ASEAN (5,313 t, +61% on larger volumes to the Philippines), Caribbean (4,210 t, +85% with larger exports to the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago) and Taiwan (2,688 t, +142%).

Pork exports to Russia in May fell from 12,250 t last year to zero this year. For the year, exports to Russia are down 84% in volume and value (from 37,075 t to 5,770 t and from $109.5 mill. to $17.9 mill.).

May pork exports to Canada were down 3% to 19,093 t but remained up 3% for January through May. Exports to the China/Hong Kong region dipped 9% in May to 34,543 t, but were larger than the previous two months. South Korea (8,645 t, -19%) and Australia/New Zealand (4,251 t, -28%) also were down in May.

Through May, Mexico was the largest volume destination for US pork but Japan was No. 1 in value. China, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and the Philippines rounded out the top eight countries in volume, with the same markets leading for value: Japan, Mexico, Canada, China, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Canada and the Philippines were the only top markets that saw export growth in the first five months of the year, but exports were robust to many of the smaller markets. Larger domestic supplies and market access issues have created a challenging atmosphere for US pork exports thus far this year but exports showed positive signs of growth in May.

Lamb exports up sharply

Lamb exports reached three consecutive months above the 1,200 t per month mark with 1,472 t exported in May, an increase of 70% over last year. This put January through May totals up 14% to 5,840 t with value over $13 mill., up 30%. Export growth has been led by top markets Mexico and Canada, but also to Bermuda and Saudi Arabia.
Source: US Meat Export Federation (USMEF)