US Red Meat Exports Surge In November

US red meat exports surged in November, highlighted by a new monthly volume record for pork exports and a 2 ½-year high for beef.

Pork and beef exports exceeded year-ago levels by more than 20% in volume and value, according to USDA statistics that were compiled by the US Meat Export Federation.




November pork exports totaled 225,757 tonnes, up 24% from 2015 and breaking the previous record of 218,132 tonnes set in October 2012. Export value was $586.8 million, up 30% from a year earlier and the highest since May 2014.

For January through November, pork export volume was up 7% to 2.09 million tonnes, while export value increased 5% to $5.38 billion.

November exports equaled 28% of total production and 23% of muscle cuts only – substantial increases over the November 2015 ratios of 24% and 21%.

For January through November, exports accounted for 25.5% of total production and 21.4% for muscle cuts, up from 24.2% and 20.9%, respectively, in 2015.

November export value averaged $55.09 per head slaughtered, was up 19% year over year. The January-November average was $49.63 per head, up 2%.

Demand for US pork gained momentum in Mexico in November. November exports totaled 73,984 tonnes, up 21% from 2015 and pushed January-November volume to 649,992 tonnes nearly even with the record pace of 2015, which ended with 718,819 tonnes.

Export value was up 32% in November at $139.2 million and January-November export value increased 4% to $1.19 billion.




November beef export volume, totaled 155,335 tonnes, up 20% from 2015 and the largest since July 2013. Value increased 21% to $619.1 million, the highest since December 2014.

That pushed January-November export volume to 1.07 million tonnes, up 10% year over year, valued at $5.72 billion, down 1%.

November exports accounted for nearly 15% of total beef production and 11.7% for muscle cuts only, the highest since 2014. January-November exports accounted for 13.5% and 10.3%, respectively – up from 13% and 10% from 2015.

Beef export value per head of fed slaughter reached a 2016 high of $294.39 in November, up 5% from a year ago. For January through November, per-head export value averaged $258.48, down 7%.

November exports to Japan surged 63% in volume to 23,598 tonnes and 58% in value to $149.5 million from a year earlier. For January through November, export volume increased 24% to 237,234 tonnes. This included a 44% increase in chilled exports to 102,090 tonnes. January-November value to Japan increased 16% to $1.39 billion.

Beef exports to South Korea have already set a value record of $929.3 million, up 25%, breaking last year’s mark of $847.4 million in just 11 months.

January-November export volume to Korea was 158,947 tonnes, up 38% year over year. This included a 37% increase in chilled beef exports to 20,325 tonnes.




Average auction prices Wednesday were $2.38 per cwt higher at $119.17, versus $116.79 a week earlier. Cash cattle then traded at $119 to $120 on a live basis, up $2 to $2.50. No dressed-basis trades were reported against last week’s $188.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was down $3.99 per cwt at $189.39 per cwt, while select was off $2.02 at $187.95. The choice/select spread narrowed to $1.44 from $3.41 with 142 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $132.31 per cwt, down $0.41. This compares with Wednesday’s Jan settlement of $132.05, down $0.65.