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CME: May US Pork Exports Higher Than a Year Ago

by 5m Editor
12 July 2012, at 11:59am

US - With plenty of data being released in the last 24 hours, we will do our best today and tomorrow to cover properly, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Below is a brief recap:

  • Corn Supply Outlook: USDA surprised trade by lowering estimated corn yields for the 2012 harvest by some 20 bushels per acre compared to its earlier forecast. This removed 1.8 billion bushels (12 per cent) of expected production. USDA opted to leave the harvested acres estimate unchanged, not that unusual for a July report. That number has the potential to remove up to half a billion bushels from the supply/demand table. USDA now estimating feed use at 4.8 billion bushels, 12 per cent less than the June forecast. That number is about the same as in 2010/11 but with a smaller DDG supply available given lower ethanol production. Exports were lowered by 300 million bushels (16 per cent) despite market expecting robust Asian demand into next year. In all, a negative report for livestock production as high prices will need to ration a shrinking feed supply and keep meat output in check.

  • Pork exports: US Census data shows US pork exports in May at 150,235 MT, 8.2 per cent larger than a year ago. Japan and Mexico remain the top two markets for US pork, accounting for some 46 per cent of all US pork shipments. Pork exports to Japan slumped in May, declining 22.5 per cent compared to a year ago. At 34,114 MT, pork exports to Japan were the lowest monthly export volume since October 2010 . Exports to Mexico have been robust so far this year, averaging about 20 per cent above year ago levels. Exports to Canada were 18,506 MT, 14.4 per cent higher than a year ago and year to date averaging 20 per cent above 2011 levels. Shipments to China/Hong Kong were critical for exports last year, especially for Q4 (see chart). While exports to the Chinese market have slowed down compared to last year’s peak, they still are well above May 2011 levels. Indeed, without the growth in Chinese exports, May shipments would be flat to negative compared to last year. Total pork exports to China/Hong Kong in May were 22,032 MT, 11,103 MT or 102 per cent higher than a year ago.
  • Beef Exports. High prices continue to keep US beef and veal exports on the defensive. Total May beef and veal exports (excluding variety meats) were 68,699 MT, 13 per cent lower than a year ago. So far this year, beef and veal exports are down 10 per cent from last year. Some markets have enhanced testing for feed additive residues, negatively impacting export potential. US beef shipments to Taiwan in May 2012 were just 275 MT, compared to 3,147 MT a year ago (-91 per cent). Japan remains a growth market for US beef and total beef and veal exports in May were 14,633 MT, 7 per cent higher than a year ago and the largest monthly total to this market since December 2003. Other key markets remain weak, however, with exports to Mexico down 25 per cent and Canada down 21 per cent. Beef variety meat exports in May were 26,520 MT, 15.3 per cent lower than a year ago and down 10.1 per cent for the year.