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Agricultural News

Tight Supplies, Strong Dollar Continues to Impact Beef Exports

Thu, 14 May 2015 14:26:28 CDT

Tight Supplies, Strong Dollar Continues to Impact Beef Exports

Beef exports are showing some improvement since the beginning of the year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released their latest numbers for the month of March. Exports numbers in March exceeded January and February, but remain lower than a year ago. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel said total exports for March were down 6.6 percent and down 9.8 percent for the year. But there is some encouraging news within the report.

U.S. beef exports to Japan, the nation's largest customer, are higher than last year. Peel said U.S. beef exports in March were 9.1 percent higher and one percent higher for the first three months of the year. He said exports to South Korea were 4.7 percent higher in March and down about two percent for the year-to-date. Exports to Mexico and Hong Kong were down significantly, but overall beef exports were holding their levels.

"When you look at the total picture, exports are holding pretty well given the price levels we're at and given the strength in the dollar we've had, which makes our beef even more expensive to our foreign customers," Peel said.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Peel on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz

USDA's March report showed some relief from the west coast labor dispute and port congestion that had plagued red meat exports in January and February. Port traffic improved after a tentative labor contract was reached in late February.

Beef imports into the U.S. are at staggering levels. Beef imports were up last year nearly 33 percent. Peel said in March imports were up about 33 percent and beef imports were up about 47 percent for the year-to-date.

Australia has been the biggest source of beef imports into the U.S. Peel said Australian imports were up 61 percent over last year and up 96 percent over the first three months of 2014. New Zealand beef imports were up as well. Canadian beef imports were down 5.9 percent in March, but up 5.5 percent for the year-to-date. Mexico beef imports were up 32 percent in March and up 37 percent for the year-to-date.

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 Beef Buzzes with Derrell Peel of OSU
right-click to download mp3


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