December 16, 2008
US beef exports were still going strong in October, exceeding the export level of October 2007 by 16 percent, despite the global economic slowdown.
US beef and variety meat exports for October reached 89,205 tonnes. Value totalled US$348.3 million, up 31.4 percent on-year.
Exports for the first 10 months of 2008 increased 31 percent on-year to 840,121 tonnes, with value rising 43 percent to exceed US$3.1 billion,
Shipments to the two largest US beef markets, Mexico and Canada, fell 27 percent and 20 percent respectively from the year ago period. Mexico imported 339,137 tonnes of US beef for the first 10 months of 2008, with value rising 21 percent to US$1.2 billion. Canada had so far imported 133,005 tonnes of US beef valued at US$623.2 million.
Erin Daley, an economist for the US Meat Export Federation, expects the weak Canadian dollar, lower live cattle exports to the US and implications of COOL to continue influencing the beef trade in Canada.
Exports to Japan rebounded in October to 7,170 tonnes, the largest volume since July. For the first 10 months of 2008, beef shipments to Japan rose 63 percent on-year to 64,679 tonnes, while value jumped 61 percent to US$333 million.
Daley expects beef exports to Japan to continue at a strong pace as the Japanese yen is the only currency that is strong relative to the US dollar at this time.
South Korea in October imported 15,561 tonnes of US beef at a value of nearly US$83 million. So far, South Korea has imported 46,946 tonnes of US beef, valued at nearly US$245 million.
The ASEAN region imported 5,363 tonnes of US beef in October, up 46 percent on-year. Total 2008 volume skyrocketed 261 percent to 45,083 tonnes, while value shot up 325 percent to US$137 million. Vietnam is the largest ASEAN market, accounting for 33,969 tonnes of US beef for the year and 4,348 tonnes in October. So far in 2008, US beef exports to Vietnam rose 318 percent in volume and 500 percent in value to US$107.2 million.
Exports to the Middle East fell 15 percent on-year but value rose 17 percent. For the year, exports declined 5 percent in volume to 76,122 tonnes but value increased 33 percent to US$121.9 million.
US beef exports to Russia reached 6,929 tonnes in October, with most of the volume made up of variety meat. Total 2008 exports were 43,671 tonnes.
US beef exports to the EU in October reached 1,947 tonnes, the largest volume for this year. Year-to-date exports totalled 17,298 tonnes valued at US$87.1 million, up 63 percent in volume and up 134 percent in value from last year.