US beef export statistics: April 2018

Beef Highlights:

Beef Exports: 83,352 mt, +15%, $603 million, +25%
BVM Exports: 27,861 mt, +2%, $73 million, +9%
Beef + BVM Exports: 111,213 mt, +11%, $677 million, +23%

January – April
Beef Exports: 324,078 mt, +12%, $2.305 billion, +22%
BVM Exports: 105,208 mt, +2%, $289 million, +7%
Beef + BVM Exports: 429,286 mt, +10%, $2.594 billion, +20%

Beef exports maintained their momentum in April, and both muscle cut and total muscle cut/bvm exports were record high for the month of April in 2018.  Beef/bvm export value was the fourth highest on record in April. 

For beef muscle cut exports, Japan was the largest market, followed by Korea and Mexico.  Exports to Japan were 21,400 mt, up nearly 2,000 mt from last April, but down from 23,700 mt in March.  Korea was the largest growth market in April compared to last year, with exports up nearly 7,000 mt at 17,800 mt, the highest monthly volume since December 2016.  Exports to Mexico were up nearly 3,000 mt from last year at 12,700 mt, the highest volume since last August. 

Muscle cut exports were also higher to Taiwan (+700 mt), Canada (+540 mt), Africa (+110 mt), Central America (+110 mt), the Middle East (+60 mt), and the Caribbean (+30 MT).  Exports to Taiwan were the sixth highest on record at 4,400 mt. 

Muscle cut exports to South Africa were record large at 870 mt in March, but April exports were only 170 mt, similar to February.  Exports were lower to the EU (-760 mt), South America (-620 mt), the ASEAN (-490 mt), and China/HK (-310 mt). 

April exports to HK were the lowest since September at 8,600 mt, down 10% or -950 mt from last April.  Exports to China were 650 mt, the largest since January and the third largest monthly total since the market opened. 

The lower volumes to South America were driven by a decline in exports to Chile.  After being over 1,000 mt in January and February, exports to Chile were 390 mt in March and dropped further to 350 mt in April, the lowest volume since 2011.  Exports to Indonesia were above year-ago levels in April, but exports to the Philippines and Vietnam were lower. 

BVM exports had the largest year-over-year increase to top market Mexico in April.  Exports to Mexico were 8,700 mt, the largest since January and up 950 mt from last year.  Exports to Egypt gained momentum in February and March and were over 7,000 mt.  However, exports dropped to 6,000 mt in April, the lowest since January and down 700 mt from last April.  Exports to Japan were 4,200 mt in April, up 200 mt from last year. 

For the smaller BVM markets, exports were higher for China/HK, Korea, the ASEAN, Canada, and the Caribbean.  Exports were lower to Africa and South America.  After peaking at 2,500 mt in June 2017, bvm exports to South Africa slowed and were below 1,000 mt from August 2017 to February of this year.  Exports picked back up in March and were 1,064 mt, before dropping to 986 mt in April, down from 1,854 mt in April 2017.  But, exports to Angola were significantly higher than last year at 474 mt in April, the highest since February 2016.  

For January – April beef/bvm exports were higher to Korea (+16,700 mt), China/HK (+8,650 mt), Taiwan (+4,000 mt), the ASEAN (+3,900 mt), Mexico (+3,900 mt), the Middle East (+2,200 mt), South America (+1,100 mt), Central America (+650 mt), the Caribbean (+200 mt), and Japan (+100 mt).  Exports were lower to the EU (-2,000 mt), Canada (-2,000 mt), Africa (-150 mt), and Russia (-100 mt).

April beef exports accounted for 11.3% of production and 14.1% when adding variety meats, up from 10.6% and 13.6% in April 2017.  For Jan – Apr, beef exports accounted for 10.8% of production and 13.4% when adding variety meats up from 10.4% and 12.9% last year.

April beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $328.46/head, up $44.94/head or 16% from $283.52/head last April.  Jan – Apr beef export value per head averaged $318.91/head up $47.34/head or 17% from $271.57/head last year.