2020 Beef, Pork Exports “Outstanding,” Halstrom

2020 US beef and pork exports were “outstanding,” in the words of the US Meat Export Federation, with pork shattering previous records.

The conclusions came after the USDA released the December and 2020 export data, and the USMEF compiled them.

USMEF President Dan Halstrom credited a buying surge from China for the record performance in pork exports.  Beef exports were helped by the pandemic in that “consumers across the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by seeking high-quality products they could enjoy at home, and US beef and pork definitely met this need,” he said.




December beef muscle cut and variety meat exports totaled 119,892 tonnes, up 8,577 tonnes, or 7.71%, from 111,315 tonnes in December 2019 and the largest in nearly 10 years, the USMEF said.  Export value was $743.996 million, up $61.997 million, or 9.09%, from $681.999 million a year ago and the second highest total on record (trailing only July 2018).

For the year, total beef and variety meat exports were 1.255 million tonnes, down 64.000 million, or 4.85%, from 1.319 million in 2019.  They were valued at $7.649 billion, down $441.000 million, or 5.45%, from $8.090 billion in 2019.

December exports of beef muscle cuts were the second largest ever at 93,941 tonnes, climbing 9,628, or 11.4%, over last year’s 84,313 tonnes.  These exports were valued at $659.780 million, up $64.868 million, or 10.9%, from $594.912 million.

For the year, however, beef muscle cut exports totaled 976,953 tonnes, down 19,838, or 1.99%, from 996,790 in 2019.  They were valued at $6.774 million, down $343,000, or 4.82%, from $7.117 million a year earlier.




While 2020 pork exports were record high, December shipments lagged 2019, the USMEF said.

December exports of pork and pork variety meats totaled 259,654 tonnes, down 22,491, or 7.97%, from the very large year-ago volume of 282,145 tonnes, with value down $72.805 million, or 9.58%, to $687.178 million from $759.983 million.

For 2020, total pork and variety meat exports of 2.977 million pounds were up 305,000, or 11.4%, from 2.672 million in 2019.  They were valued at $7.715 billion, up $763,000, or 11.0%, from 2019’s $6.952 billion.

December pork muscle cut exports also were down 19,792 tonnes, or 8.28%, at 219,224 tonnes from 239,016 a year earlier.  They were valued at $590.169 million, down $72.065 million, or 10.9%, from $662.234 million.

For the full year, pork muscle cut exports were record-large at 2.508 million tonnes, up 332,000, or 15.3%, from 2.176 million in 2019, valued at a record $6.674 billion, up $727,000, or 12.2%, from $5.947 billion.




Fed cattle trading was reported last week at $112 to mostly $114 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to up $1 from last week, and at $178 to $180 on a dressed basis, up $1 to $2.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.62 per cwt at $236.20, while select was down $0.18 at $220.61.  The choice/select spread widened to $15.59 from $13.79 with 81 loads of fabricated product and 33 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.00 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.63 3/4 a bushel, up $0.15 1/4.

Nine steer contracts were tendered for delivery Monday against the Feb futures contract.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $135.47 per cwt, down $0.18.  This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $137.45 per cwt, down $0.82.