Thu, 08 Feb 2018
US - 2017 was a record-breaking year for US red meat exports, with beef export value exceeding $7 billion for only the second time, according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF.
Beef exports totaled 1.26 million metric tons (mt), up 6 per cent from 2016. This was the fourth-largest volume on record and the second-largest of the post-BSE era. Beef export value reached $7.27 billion, up 15 per cent year-over-year and 2 per cent above the previous high achieved in 2014 ($7.13 billion).
"This was a remarkable year for beef exports, in our mainstay markets in northern Asia as well as emerging destinations in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "The US beef industry gained significant market share in Japan despite considerable obstacles, and posted a record-breaking performance in South Korea and Taiwan. These markets are especially critical for chilled beef exports, which were up about 25 per cent year-over-year. This had a tremendous impact on carcass value."
For December only, beef export value was up 9 per cent from a year ago to $672.9 million – the second-highest of 2017 and the third-highest on record. December volume was down 3 per cent from a year ago to 113,269 mt.
Beef exports accounted for 12.9 per cent of total production in 2017 and 10.4 per cent for muscle cuts only, down from 13.7 per cent and 10.5 per cent, respectively, in 2016. Beef export value averaged $286.38 per head of fed slaughter, up 9 per cent from 2016 and the second-highest on record, trailing only the $300.36 average posted in 2014.
Japan solidified its position as the leading market for US beef in 2017, with volume climbing 19 per cent year-over-year to 307,559 mt and value up 25 per cent to $1.89 billion – new post-BSE records. Chilled exports to Japan expanded even more rapidly, reaching 148,688 mt (up 32 per cent) valued at $1.102 billion (up 37 per cent) as US beef captured more than half of Japan’s imported chilled beef market – a new high for US market share. Japan accounts for nearly $75 in export value per head of fed slaughter and delivers critical premiums for certain cuts. For example, Japan’s imports of US beef tongue averaged $12.13 per head and imports of short plate averaged $26.44.
The US industry is marketing a wide range of beef cuts in Japan and the market holds potential for additional growth. But market access is a concern, with imports of Australian and Mexican beef subject to significantly lower duties and beef from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico all poised to gain further tariff relief through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Other 2017 beef export highlights include: