Beef trade picture continues to brighten

U.S. beef export value in January was 18% more than the previous year and the highest ever for the month. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $256.62.

“Net meat exports are expected to continue improving year over year in 2017 with exports increasing and imports declining year over year,” says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. “Net meat exports are projected to approach 12% of production in 2017, assuming no unexpected changes or disruptions. Any number of disease incidents or political changes in the U.S. or globally could impact this forecast.”

In his weekly market comments, Peel explains U.S. exports of meat (beef, pork and poultry) averaged 12.3% of production since 1992, compared to 1.3% from 1960 to 1991.

“Exports of meat exceeded 5% of production for the first time in 1992 and grew rapidly for beef, pork and poultry in the 1990s with total meat exports exceeding 10% of production by 1996,” Peel says. “Total meat exports have exceeded double-digit percentages of production since 1996 except for 2004, which dropped briefly

to 9.5% of total production (largely due to reduced beef exports as a result of BSE).”

On the other side of the trade, Peel explains imports of all meat to the U.S. have been relatively constant at about 4.7% of domestic meat production since 1960.

Source: BEEF