September 21, 2004



US Beef Exports For 1st Half-Year Of 2004 Only 12% Of Last Year's Level

U.S. beef exports totaled only 204 million pounds in the first 7 months of 2004. The figure is 86 percent below the 1.5 billion pounds exported during the first 7 months of 2003. 


While many small markets have reopened conditionally to U.S. beef exports, the only major markets to allow U.S. beef have been Canada and Mexico. Canada began allowing imports of U.S. boneless beef from animals less than 30 months of age in January 2004, with Mexico following suit in early March. 


By June, however, U.S. beef exports to Canada had increased to only 5 million pounds, compared with 29 million pounds in June 2003. June 2004 beef exports to Mexico reached only 36 million pounds, compared with 68 million pounds in June 2003.


Nevertheless, weekly export data do show significant increases above the low June level for both July and August. Forecast total exports to all countries for 2004 and 2005 are 446 and 600 million pounds, respectively.

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