November Beef Exports Rise Counter-Seasonally

US beef and veal exports rose in November, a counter-seasonal move that gets product exports back near the 2009-2013 average.

Beef and veal exports in November rose to 202.2 million pounds on a carcass weight basis from October’s 194.9 million, a gain of 7.3 million pounds, or 3.75%.  Normally, beef and veal exports decline in November.  The 2009-2013 average decline is 8.6 million pounds, or 4.01%, to 205.8 million from 214.4 million.

US beef and veal exports diverged sharply from the five-year average in July, mimicking and expanding on the 2014 theme.  In 2014, beef and veal exports made their annual high in June, when the average has the peak in July,

Having dropped away from the average in July, 2015 beef and veal exports continued to drop, bottoming seasonally in September and rising more than the average rate into October and now November.

USDA data show the value of November beef plus variety meat exports, items like the tongue, heart and liver that have low domestic market value, was $519.7 million, down $107.0 million, or 17.1%, from the same month a year ago.  Export values also were down $11.5 million, or 2.26%, from $508.2 million in October.

So it seems that foreign buyers, when faced with a declining US beef market, simply moved to the sidelines as much as possible during the summer and stepped back into the market to restock in October and November.




US pork exports in November on a carcass weight basis rose to 431.0 million pounds from 410.2 million in October, a gain of 20.8 million, or 5.07%.  November exports were above 2014’s 363.6 million by 67.4 million pounds, or 18.5%.

US pork exports diverged from the 2009-2013 average in April, rising to its annual peak in that month.  Normally, pork exports have a seasonal peak in March (which is what happened in 2014) and then fall away into the annual low in June.

But in 2015, pork exports put in what appears to be an annual peak in April, rising to 483.4 million pounds, nearly matching the March 2014 peak of 484.3 million.

US pork exports rejoined the 2009-1013 average in August and have followed the trend closely ever since.

USDA data show that the value of US November pork and variety meat exports was $452.6 million, down $67.3, or $13.0%, from $519.9 million in the 2014 month.




Cash trade Thursday was light with packers showing little interest.  Limited trade was reported in Nebraska at $132 to $133 per cwt on a live basis and at $212 on a dressed basis.  These would be steady to down $1 from last week.

However, feeders were asking $140 to $142 per cwt on a live basis, and no trading was reported in other major cattle feeding states.

Last week, cattle traded at $133 to $136 per cwt on a live basis, with most at $134 to $135, up $9 to $12 from the previous week.  In dressed markets, cattle traded from $210 to $212, up $10 to $12.

The USDA reported sharply higher wholesale beef prices again on Thursday in modest volume.  Choice was up $2.56 per cwt from Wednesday to $230.59, and select was up $3.21 at $223.89.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.70 from $7.35, and there were 92 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $167.94 per cwt, up $1.03.  This compares with the Jan settlement Thursday of $163.82, down $4.50.