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CME: Pork & Beef Value in November Hit Records

18 January 2012, at 9:21am

US - The excellent year for US pork and beef exports continued in November with pork tonnage and value setting new records and beef tonnage and value hitting their highest level for November on record, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Some highlights of Friday’s release of product weight data by the Department of Commerce and Foreign Ag Service:

Pork muscle meat exports were record-high at 169,460 metric tons (373.5 million pounds). That figure is 23.2 per cent larger than one year ago and brings YTD exports through November to 1.588 million metric tons or 3.5 billion pounds, 22 per cent larger than during January-November 2010.

The value of pork exports also set a new record at $515.8 million in November. That figure is 33.7 per cent larger than last year and brings YTD export values for muscle cuts to 4.822 billion, 30.1 per cent higher than in 2011. All but one month in 2011 (thru November) saw pork muscle meat export values that were higher than the previous monthly record set in 2008. So, not only has tonnage been higher but the value of those shipments has grown by an even higher percentage meaning per-unit values have grown, too. Higher quantity and higher price means strong demand!

The three largest months on record for pork exports occurred in 2011 with January, October and November all exceeding the prior record level set in March 2008.

Pork variety meat exports were 25 per cent larger in November versus one year ago and the value of those shipments was up 71 per cent from last year. Year-to-date through November, variety meat exports were six per cent larger than last year and were sold for nearly 19 per cent more in total value.

Japan returned to its usual place atop the rankings of US pork export destinations in November. Total pork and pork variety meat exports to Japan were up six per cent in November versus one year earlier and were up 17 per cent through November for the year. YTD total export value to Japan reached $1.79 billion. That, according to the United State Meat Export Federation “ . . easily set a new record and set the stage for a year-en value that could threaten the $2 billion mark.“ US ANNUAL pork exports to ALL DESTINATIONS did not add up to $2 billion as recently as 2003.

Pork and pork variety meat shipments to China/Hong Kong set another monthly record at 66,993 metric tons. That figure was valued at $140.2 million and pushed YTD export values to China/ Hong Kong to $794.6 million, nearly double the level of 2010. Shipments to this important if sometime fickle market were up 68 per cent for the year through November.

November beef exports did not challenge the record level of 90,282 metric tons set in July but were very strong none the less, breaking last year’s November high of 71,582 metric tons. The 3.4 per cent year-on-year increase in muscle meat tonnage, though, drove a 17.6 per cent increase in muscle meat value in November as unit prices increased sharply. YTD muscle meat tonnage now stands at 846,343 metric tons, well above the previous YTD record pace of 801,781 metric tons reached in November of 2003. That year still marks the high for beef cut exports at 858,185 metric tons — a record that will almost certainly fall when December data is released in February.

As was the case for volume, export values were record high for November but were lower than the all-time record of last July. November value of $395.8 million was 17.6 per cent higher than last year and pushed YTD cut values to $4.325 billion, 35.8 per cent higher than one year ago.

Beef variety meat shipments were up 4.6 per cent in volume and 19.2 per cent in value, year-on-year for November. YTD volume and value totals for variety meats were +13.7 per cent and +27.4 per cent, respectively.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.