Friday, January 21st, 2011
High grain prices are not the only similarity between the fall of 2010 and the summer of 2008 — pork exports soared in November and beef exports kept climbing. Both contributed to last fall’s strong wholesale level demands for beef and pork that we have chronicled on several occasions. Some highlights of the Department of Commerce’s and USDA’s export data, released last Friday, are:
* Pork exports were 6.7% higher on a carcass weight basis and 5% higher on a product weight basis. The Commerce Department reports that pork export value in November was $443.4 million, 15% higher than one year ago. The U.S. Meat Export Federation reported that November’s performance means January-November 2010 exports have amounted to $43.61 for every hog slaughtered in the U.S. November exports amounted to $44.80 per head slaughtered.
* Japan remains our largest market in terms of both pork tonnage and value. November shipments to Japan were 10.2% higher than last year and bring the 2010 total to 1.173 billion pounds carcass weight, virtually even with the level of 2009.
* Mexico once again challenged for that top spot in November, importing a record 105.93 million pounds of U.S. pork. That figure is 30.4% higher than one year ago and comes on the heals of three decidedly down months.
* China/Hong Kong reclaimed the number three spot in the list of U.S. pork export markets. November shipments of 43 million pounds carcass weight were 23% higher than last year and bring the year-to-date total to 314.3 million pounds, 1.5% lower than in 2009. November also marks the second highest month for shipments to China/Hong Kong since the 2008 surge ended in August 2008.
* U.S pork exports to Russia reached their highest level since September 2009. November shipments amounted to 27.9 million pounds carcass weight, 36% larger than one year ago. Year-to-date exports to Russia are still 47% smaller than last year due to trade restrictions early in the year.
* Canada remains a steady number 4 customer for U.S. pork, with year-to-date shipments up 5% from 2009 at 389 million pounds.
* November beef exports totaled 215.6 million pounds carcass weight. That figure is 25% larger than last year and the second highest since the 2003 BSE-related export interruptions —second only to August 2008.
* Mexico remains our largest beef customer and November shipments southward were 12% larger than last year. 2010 will not be a red-letter year for Mexican exports though as shipments are still down 21.6% through November.
* Shipments to every other major U.S. beef market except Vietnam (which transships product to China and is down 24%) and Canada (+4%) are sharply higher through November. Russia leads the way in percentage terms (+508%) but Korea and “Other” markets are the big gainers in tonnage terms at +128.4 million and +116.4 million pounds, respectively. Those increases amount to 105.6% and 65.1% of 2009 shipments for those two markets.
* November beef exports were valued at $389.5 million, nearly 50% larger than one year earlier. YTD value is up 30% from 2009.
The Daily Livestock Report by Steve Meyer and Len Steiner