August US Beef Exports Set Records; Pork Value Slips

US beef exports set new records in August with export value topping $750 million for the first time, according to the US Meat Export Federation, which compiled data released by the USDA.

August pork exports were fairly steady with last year’s volume, but retaliatory duties in key markets continued to pressure pork export value, the USMEF said.




August beef exports totaled 119,850 tonnes, up 7,781, or 6.94%, from 112,069 tonnes a year ago, the USMEF said.  It was valued at $751.7 million, up $72.575 million, or 10.7%, year-over-year and easily exceeding the previous record of $722.1 million reached in May.

For January through August, beef exports totaled 899,300 tonnes, up 75,867, or 9.21%, from 823,433 a year ago, while value climbed $858 million, or 18.5%, to $5.51 billion from $4.67 billion last year, the USMEF said.

For the third consecutive month, beef muscle cut exports set a new volume record in August at 95,181 tonnes, up 8,124, or 9.33%, from a year ago, valued at $679.6 million, up $77.9 million, or 1.9%, from $601.7 million a year ago, the USMEF said.

Through August, muscle cut exports were 83.986 million pounds, or 13.8%, ahead of last year’s pace in volume (692,234 tonnes versus 608,248 tonnes) and $863,000, or 21.2%, higher in value ($4.93 billion compared with $4.068 billion), the USMEF said.




August exports accounted for 13.2% of total beef production, up from 12.5% a year ago, the USMEF said.  For beef muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 11.2%, up from 10.4% last year.

For January through August, exports accounted for 13.5% of total beef production and 11.1% for muscle cuts, up from 12.8% and 10.1%, respectively, last year, the USMEF said.

Beef export value averaged $320.92 per head of fed slaughter in August, up 11% from a year ago.  The January-August average was $318.66 per head, up 16%, the USMEF said.




August pork export volume was down 1,286 tonnes, or 0.70%, from last year at 182,372 tonnes from 183,658 tonnes, while export value fell $17.3 million, or 3.38%, to $494.1 million from $511.4 million, the USMEF said.

Pork muscle cuts fared better in August, increasing 7,338 tonnes, or 5.19%, to 148,736 tonnes from 141,398 tonnes, the USMEF said.  However, value still declined $3.7 million, or 0.88%, to $414.7 million from $418.4 million.

Pork variety meat exports declined sharply in August in both volume (33,636 tonnes, down 20.4%) and value ($79.4 million, down 14.6%), the USMEF said.




The USDA’s five-area accumulated cattle sales reported a sale at $110 to $110.50 per cwt, compared with $110 to $112 per cwt on a live basis last week, steady to up $1 from the previous week.  Dressed sales were reported at $174 per cwt, steady to down $1 from last week.

The USDA choice cutout Wednesday was down $0.74 per cwt at $202.11, while select was off $0.95 at $191.77.  The choice/select spread widened to $10.34 from $10.13 with 95 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

There were 30 heifer tenders and 42 heifer retenders at zero for delivery Wednesday.  There also were 42 heifer and 18 steer retenders at one steer retender at one.  There were no heifer retenders at two, but there were three steer tenders at two.

There were no demands at zero, but there were 42 heifer demands and 18 steer demands at one and three steer demands at three.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday, was $158.38 per cwt, down $0.07.  This compares with Wednesday’s Oct settlement of $155.90, down $1.05.