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Agricultural News

Year-End Cattle Numbers Show Slippage In Net Beef Exports

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:41:45 CDT

Year-End Cattle Numbers Show Slippage In Net Beef Exports

Land grant universities from around the country are all a part of the Livestock Market Information Center. They work together when it comes to discovering economic information about the livestock industry. Jim Robb is the director of the LMIC based in Denver. He has just released his year-end report, "The Net Value of U.S. Beef Trade for 2012."

What do the numbers tell us?

"The net value really means we take the value of our beef exports, which includes the biggest factor beef cuts that consumers eat, and that category was, on a dollar value basis, up slightly in 2012. Our tonnage of beef exports actually declined. Many of the other items we export in the beef complex, which includes hides and tallow and greases, variety meats, and even some cattle. And those categories, in many cases, were softer than a year ago. We put it all together--the export side was down slightly from a year ago, down about two percent.

"Then we have the import side of the equation also. The import side is driven by mostly beef imports and we had an increase in the quantity and the dollar value of those beef import products. And some of that is clearly related to the LFTB situation and the need of the U.S. to import from overseas product that we used to be able to produce out of our fed cattle industry using that process. So the import dollar value also went up in 2012 compared to 2011.

"And what an economist often wants to do is net those two out. Was the value of the export profile in the aggregate of all beef products bigger than imports? And the answer was yes in 2012; much better than we had in the BSE-impacted era, but a tapering off from the net export value that we had in 2011.

"And back in 2011 a major driver of cattle price strength were robust export markets. 2012? Not so robust. And 2013? Maybe a little more of that same story."

He said tighter supplies giving us higher prices are not just hitting consumers domestically, but internationally as well. Even so, he is predicting a pretty good year for the beef industry.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays talks with Jim Robb about the net value of the U.S. beef trade.
right-click to download mp3


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