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Weekly U.S. Beef Export Sales Surge

Published: Jun 27, 2008

Year-to-date exports up 34% over 2007 – still trail 2003 totals

Exports of U.S. beef are continuing their upward trend, according to statistics released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).    During the week of June 13-19, U.S. beef export sales exceeded those for the same week in 2003 – the last pre-BSE year – by 12 percent, reaching 14,700 metric tons (32.4 million pounds).  Beef export sales also exceeded the previous week in 2008 by 24 percent, although year-to-date exports still trail 2003 totals by nearly 39 percent.

Weekly sales to Russia reached 1,600 metric tons (3.5 million pounds), while year-to-date (January through third week of June) sales topped 4,056 metric tons (8.9 million pounds), compared to just 351 metric tons (773,814 pounds) during the same pre-BSE January through June period in 2003, according to Erin Daley, USMEF manager of research and analysis.

“The beef market in Russia continues to expand, and has further growth potential,” said Daley.  “Australia’s exports to Russia totaled 30,749 metric tons (67.8 million pounds) from January through May compared to 537 metric tons (1.2 million pounds) last year.”

Daley noted that with tight Brazilian beef supplies leading to an 18 percent decline in Brazil’s beef exports to Russia, Russia is outbidding the United States for Australian and Uruguayan beef, replacing the United States as Uruguay’s largest market.

“At the same time, U.S. beef is competitively priced in the Russian market,” Daley noted, “and export volumes far exceed those in 2003, offering support for U.S. round and chuck values.”

U.S. beef sales to Japan, Taiwan, Canada and other markets also increased appreciably, which Daley believes is related to the anticipated opening of the South Korean market.

Actual exports were smaller than the previous week’s (but about the same as last year), at just 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds) and much smaller than exports in 2003, which totaled 19,429 metric tons (42.8 million pounds), but Daley said if the sales recorded during the June 13-19 week come to fruition, it would be an additional positive in advance of South Korea being added to the sales list in the coming weeks.  

Summary of U.S. beef exports and export sales, June 13-19:

Net sales of 14,700 metric tons (32.4 million pounds), primarily for Mexico (7,300 metric tons or 16.1 million pounds), Japan (2,100 metric tons or 4.6 million pounds), Russia (1,600 metric tons or 3.5 million pounds), Canada (1,400 metric tons or 3.1 million pounds), Taiwan (800 metric tons or 1.8 million pounds), Albania (600 metric tons or 1.3 million pounds), and Vietnam (500 metric tons or 1.1 million pounds).

Actual exports of 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds): Mexico (5,000 metric tons or 11 million pounds), Canada (1,900 metric tons or 4.2 million pounds), Japan (1,400 metric tons or 3.1 million pounds), Vietnam (600 metric tons or 1.3 million pounds), and Taiwan (400 metric tons or 881,840 pounds). 

Following are accumulated (January through the third week of June) exports, compared to the same period in 2007 (or year noted if market was closed last year):

  • Mexico: up 4 percent to 110,424 metric tons (243.4 million pounds)
  • Canada: up 50 percent to 36,477 metric tons (80.4 million pounds)
  • Japan: up 76 percent to 22,833 metric tons (50.3 million pounds)
  • Vietnam: up 583 percent to 18,090 metric tons (39.9 million pounds)
  • Taiwan: up 48 percent to 11,316 metric tons (24.9 million pounds)
  • Russia: 4,056 metric tons (8.9 million pounds) compared to 351 metric tons (773,815 pounds) during the same period in 2003
  • Albania: up 139 percent to 3,376 metric tons (7.4 million pounds)
  • Moldova: up 289 percent to 2,741 metric tons (6 million pounds)
  • EU-27: up 277 percent to 886 metric tons (1.9 million pounds) compared to 235 metric tons (518,081 pounds)
  • Egypt: 1,191 metric tons (2.6 million pounds) compared to zero last year
  • Peru: up 145 percent to 485 metric tons (1.1 million pounds)
  • Philippines: up 94 percent to 750 metric tons (1.6 million pounds)
  • UAE: up 72 percent to 336 metric tons (740,746 pounds)

Total accumulated exports were 217,746 metric tons (480 million pounds), up 34 percent from last year, but trailing by 39 percent 2003 volumes which totaled 354,868 metric tons (782.3 million pounds) during the corresponding period.

In 2003, 61 percent of accumulated exports were to Japan and Korea.  This year, exports to Japan accounted for just 10 percent of the accumulated (year-to-date) exports.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.