Despite Minor Declines, US Beef Export Business Continues to Perform Well as Fringe Markets GrowThu, 13 Jun 2019 13:20:15 CDT
The most recent numbers out form the US Meat Export Federation show that through April, beef exports for the year are holding up pretty well compared to one year ago. Though down just slightly, the overall performance has been fair. Katelyn McCullock, director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center says that the numbers show some big winners but also underscores where sales have started to lag in certain countries compared to previous years.
According to McCullock, beef exports fell in April 4 percent below a year ago with Canada chief among those customers with lower totals, declining 22 percent compared to last year and Hong Kong declined 41 percent. Conversely, South Korea, Vietnam and China all showed strong growth year over year.
“That’s a really positive sign as those are some of our more fringe markets, although South Korea is now the second largest market for beef this year,” McCullock said. Year to date, she says beef purchases are at 48 million tons behind Japan, the largest US importer of beef. South Korea alone though has increase 20 percent in April over last year - impressive when stacked against 2018 during which exports climbed 38 percent annually. “So, we’re showing a lot of strong demand from South Korea.”
Korea is another bright spot, climbing up 40 percent over the year before. That is on top of the annual gain of last year’s 23 percent, McCullock points out. When taking all things into account, the gains and the declines, McCullock is resolved that given the larger beef supplies currently working through the pipeline, things should be on track both domestically and internationally to keep product moving.
“We still have a lot of production on the market. So, I take it as a good sign that even though the percentage changes don’t tell the full story when you compare against 2018 - which was a very strong year for beef - I think we’re still in relatively good shape from a balancing of supply and demand perspective.”
Listen to McCullock’s complete analysis of the current export numbers and beef demand situation, 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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