US Beef Export Sales Down Slightly During Q1 Compared to Record 2018 Sales But Volume Still HighTue, 30 Apr 2019 11:32:21 CDT
Since the beginning of the year, the beef industry has been able to chew through the reported beef export data on the first two months of 2019. In a recent conversation with Katelyn McCullock, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, she discussed those numbers and how they compare to the performance of US beef exports last year. According to her, the data for the first couple months in 2019 were a little disappointing in comparison to the previous year, but offers a little context, explaining the importance of keeping in mind that these numbers are being put up against a record-breaking 2018.
“The February data did show a decline of about 6 percent compared to the previous year which followed January, which showed another 2 percent decline. But still, we’re on the second highest February volume on record,” McCullock said. “So, yes, we may be feeling like these export numbers aren’t as great as they once were, but we’re still in very high volumes from a historical perspective.”
Despite these declines, McCullock says several of our key beef export markets are actually performing very well all things considered. Markets like Japan and South Korea especially have continued to buy both beef and pork at fairly high levels. As those destinations keep pace, McCullock says the industry is turning focus a bit more this year on promoting business in some of our fringe markets to spur a little more economic activity from those places spread mostly around Asia. In the meantime, the domestic beef demand situation seems to be holding up really quite well, according to McCullock.
“The cutout continues to hold up pretty well. Heading into the grilling season, all the beef primal values have been exceeding 2018 values in the latest weekly data,” she said. “Choice Boxed-Beef Cutout is up 10 percent year over year and is showing very strong buying interest. So, I would expect that strength to maintain through the summer quarter.”
Listen to McCullock’s complete review of US beef export performance during the first quarter of 2019, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.
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