July Beef, Pork Exports Rise; Prospects Good

July US beef and pork exports rose in July but remain below year-ago levels, according to data released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation in Denver.

“It is important to remember that the monthly export data is in the rear-view mirror and that weekly export sales data, along with observations from our USMEF-China team, suggest that China’s demand for both US pork and beef will be strong through the balance of the year, including purchases for Chinese New Year, said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom in a release.




July beef exports rebounded from recent lows but remained below 2019 levels, the USDA data said.

“With production returning to near-normal levels, we definitely saw an improvement in beef exports, though the recovery was not quite as strong as expected,” Halstrom said.

July beef exports totaled 107,298 tonnes, up 28,285, or 35.8%, from 79,013 tonnes in June but still 11,544 tonnes, or 9.7%, below 118,842 tonnes last year, the USMEF release said.  Export value was $647.830 million, the highest since March but down $72.561 million, or 10.1%, from $720.391 million a year ago.

July beef exports to China increased sharply year-over-year to 2,350 tonnes from 903 tonnes, and shipments trended higher to Taiwan, Canada and Hong Kong, the USMEF said.  July exports were lower than a year ago to Japan and South Korea and declined significantly to Mexico.

For January through July, beef exports, at 698,907 tonnes, were 67,700 tonnes, or 8.83%, below last year’s 766,607 tonnes and, at $4.277 billion, were $472 million, or 9.94%, lower in value than last year’s $4.749 billion.




US pork exports, which are on a record pace this year, also were down from a year ago in July but increased from June, the USMEF said.

“China’s pork demand has moderated and we are also entering a time when year-over-year gains are not nearly as dramatic, as exports to China began gaining momentum in mid-2019,” Halstrom said.  “But pork exports to Mexico showed encouraging signs of recovery in July and we also saw promising growth in several emerging markets, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

July pork exports totaled 222,035 tonnes, down 11,207, or 4.80%, from 233,242 tonnes a year ago, while export value fell $74.937 million, or 12.0%, to $548.315 million from $623.252 million.

Pork exports increased year-over-year to China/Hong Kong, Canada, the Philippines, Vietnam and the Caribbean, the USDA data showed.  Exports to Mexico remained below last year but were the largest since March, while shipments to Japan also were down from a year ago but the largest since April.

For January through July, US pork exports of 1.775 million tonnes remained 294,000, or 19.9%, ahead of last year’s record pace of 1.481 million and $832.0 million, or 22.1%, higher in value at $4.598 billion, compared with $3.766 billion.




Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains last week at $102.50 to $104 per cwt on a live basis, down $2 to $2.50 from the previous week.  Dressed-trading was done at $163 to $164 per cwt, down $3 to $4.

The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $1.39 per cwt at $225.85, while select was off $3.20 at $209.30.  The choice/select spread widened to $16.55 from $14.74 with 70 loads of fabricated product and 38 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Thursday was at $140.20 per cwt, up $0.52.  This compares with Friday’s Sep contract settlement of $137.65 per cwt, up $0.05.