Beef Exports Reach New High In November

US beef export value reached another new high in November, topping $1 billion for the second time in 2021, according to data released by the USDA and compiled by the US Meat Export Federation.

November pork exports were lower than a year ago, but year-to-date export value maintained a record pace at more than $7.5 billion, the USMEF said in a release.




November beef exports totaled 123,641 tonnes, up 8,304 tonnes, or 7.20%, from 115,337 a year ago — the fourth largest monthly volume in the post-BSE era.  Export value for the month was a record $1.052 billion, up $334.522 million, or 48.7%, from $707.478 million last year and exceeding the previous high of $1.041 billion set in August 2021.

For January through November, beef exports were on a record volume pace at 1.318 million tonnes, up 183,000, or 16.1%, from 1.135 million a year ago.  Beef export value so far, which already had set a new annual record through October of $8.533 billion, increased $2.680 billion from a year ago, soaring 38.8% to $9.585 billion from $6.905 billion.

Japan will finish 2021 as the leading volume destination for US beef exports, but is close to South Korea on value.  November exports to Japan totaled 27,539 tonnes, up 15% from a year ago, while value climbed 54% to $243.1 million.

Through November, beef exports to Japan were 6% more than last year’s pace at 297,354 tonnes.  Value reached $2.16 billion, up 22% and exceeding $2 billion for the first time since 2018.

Growth to Japan has been in chilled beef (142,457 tonnes, up 13%) and in tongues, skirts and other variety meat (58,543 tonnes, +38%), with continued strong retail demand.




Pork exports totaled 237,547 tonnes in November, down 21,254 tonnes, or 8.21%, from 258,801 a year ago, while value was $39.232 million, or 5.62%, lower at $658.283 million from $697.515 million.  Through November, export volume fell 11,000 tonnes, or 0.40%, below 2020’s record pace of 2.717 million tonnes to 2.706 million.  Export value was $7.503 billion, up $475,000, or 6.76%, from $7.028 billion a year ago and rapidly approaching the annual record of $7.714 billion set in 2020.

Pork exports to Mexico continued to gain momentum in November at 87,440 tonnes, up 34% from a year ago, with value up 23% to $152.1 million.  Through November, exports to Mexico totaled 794,597 tonnes, up 29% and just short of the annual record achieved in 2017 (802,000 mt).

Pork export value to Mexico already has set a new annual record at $1.54 billion, up 51% from a year ago.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $139.53 to $140.32 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $135.00 to $143.25.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $217.39 to $218.77 per cwt, versus $212.43 to $218.42.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was up $2.18 per cwt at $278.22, while select was up $2.13 at $268.63.  The choice/select spread widened to $9.59 from $9.54 with 110 loads of fabricated product and 40 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported that basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.45 to $1.65 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.35 over Mar, which settled at $6.01 a bushel, up $0.01 1/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $162.24 per cwt up $0.26.  This compares with Tuesday’s Jan contract settlement of $162.07 per cwt, up $1.15.