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USDA International Meat Review


24 May 2012

USDA International Meat Review - 24th MayUSDA International Meat Review - 24th May

During the first quarter of 2012, U.S. beef and veal imports totaled 194,959 MT, which was 25.8 percent above the corresponding period a year ago due to strong U.S. demand.
USDA International Meat Review

Trade Highlights

Recently, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published U.S. read meat import data for March 2011. According to the numbers, during March, U.S. beef and veal imports equaled 74,631 MT. This was 32.0 percent higher than the previous month and was 27.0 percent higher than March 2011. More specifically, fresh, chilled beef imports totaled 29,516 MT, which was up 10.4 percent over the previous month and was up 19.3 percent over March 2011. Likewise, frozen beef imports were up 56.5 percent over the previous month and were up 35.0 percent over March 2011, totaling 42,699 MT. During March, the U.S. imported 21,719 MT of beef from Canada. This was 12.6 percent more than the previous month. During the first quarter, the U.S. imported 60,138 MT of beef from Canada, which was 12.2 percent above a year ago. Canada was the leading source for U.S. beef imports with 30.8 percent of the total. Beef imports from Australia during March rose 53.5 percent over February to 17,923 MT. Year-to-date beef imports from Australia equaled 48,384 MT, 91.7 percent greater than last year due to Australia’s improved pasture conditions and an increase in carcass weights and production. During March, beef imports from New Zealand totaled 20,006 MT, 77.7 percent more than the previous month. During the first quarter, the U.S. imported 42,932 MT of beef from New Zealand, which was 4.3 percent higher than a year ago. Year-to-date beef imports from Mexico were up 39.6 percent over a year ago, amounting to 20,223 MT. Overall, during the first quarter of 2012, U.S. beef and veal imports totaled 194,959 MT, which was 25.8 percent above the corresponding period a year ago due to strong U.S. demand.

During March, U.S. pork imports totaled 31,924 MT. Although this was 9.4 percent higher than the previous month, it was 2.9 percent lower than March 2011. More specifically, imports of fresh, chilled product rose 9.1 percent over the previous month and 1.6 percent over March 2011 to 19,046 MT. Imports of frozen product totaled 8,689 MT, which was up 8.9 percent over the previous month but was down 4.0 percent from March 2011. U.S. pork imports from Canada during March equaled 25,472 MT, 5.4 percent higher than February. During the first quarter, the U.S. imported 72,644 MT of pork from Canada, which was 5.9 more than a year ago. Canada was the main supplier of pork to the U.S. with 81.3 percent of the total imports. During March, the U.S. imported 3,302 MT of pork from Denmark. This was 36.3 percent higher than the previous month. Total year-to-date pork imports from Denmark were 7.0 percent less than last year, amounting to 8,021 MT. Overall, during the first quarter of 2012, U.S. total pork imports equaled 89,309 MT, which was 4.4 percent above the same period a year ago. Additional U.S. trade data is available on the FAS website http://www.fas.usda.gov/gats/.

USDA FAS recently published data for U.S. lamb, sheep and goat meat trade. The numbers include fresh, chilled and frozen product, as well as carcasses, cuts and bone-in and boneless product. According to the data, during the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. exported 1,483 MT of lamb and sheep meat. This was 25.0 percent less than the previous quarter and was 9.5 percent less than a year ago. Lamb and sheep meat exports to Mexico during the first quarter were 30.2 percent lower than the previous quarter and were 6.1 percent lower than a year ago, totaling 642 MT. Mexico was the main destination for U.S. lamb and sheep meat with 43.3 percent of the total exports. During the first quarter, the U.S. exported 172 MT of lamb and sheep meat to Canada, which was 37.9 percent lower than the previous quarter but was 177.7 percent higher than a year ago. Canada accounted for 11.6 percent of the total U.S. lamb and sheep meat export market. Lamb and sheep meat exports to the Netherlands totaled 109 MT. This was down 32.2 percent from the previous quarter and was down 40.9 percent from last year. Meanwhile, during the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. imported 15,154 MT of lamb and sheep meat. Although this was 12.4 percent more than the previous quarter, it was 28.3 percent less than a year ago. Lamb and sheep meat imports from Australia during the first quarter totaled 10,011 MT, which was 2.4 percent less than the previous quarter and was 16.3 percent less than last year. Australia was the main supplier of lamb and sheep meat to the U.S. with 66.1 percent of the total imports. During the first quarter, lamb and sheep meat imports from New Zealand rose 63.3 percent over the previous quarter to 5,080 MT. However, this was down 44.6 percent from a year ago. Imports from New Zealand accounted for 33.5 percent of the total. Meanwhile, during the first quarter of 2012, U.S. goat meat imports fell 26.7 percent from the previous quarter and 16.7 percent from a year ago to 2,632 MT. U.S. first quarter goat meat imports from Australia equaled 2,623 MT. This was down 26.0 percent from the previous quarter and was down 16.3 percent from a year ago. Australia was the largest market for U.S. goat meat imports with 99.7 percent of the total. Additional U.S. trade data can be found on the FAS website http://www.fas.usda.gov/gats/.

Recently, CanFax released Canada’s current cattle on feed numbers for terminal feedlots with 1,000 or more head in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. According to the data, on May 1, 2012, Canada’s total cattle on feed equaled 968,626 head. This was 2.9 percent lower than one year ago and was 5.7 percent lower than two years ago. During April, 108,372 head of cattle were placed on feed, which was down 24.6 percent from one year ago and was down 30.1 percent from two years ago. Additionally, this was the lowest on record since the report began in 2000. Steers placed on feed totaled 69,976 head, which comprised 64.6 percent of the total. Heifers placed on feed totaled 38,396 head. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle in each weight category were down from a year ago. Placements weighing less than 600 pounds were 75.2 percent lower than a year ago, totaling 3,564 head. Placements weighing 600 to 699 pounds equaled 6,923 head, 56.6 percent less than last year. Feeder cattle placements weighing 700 to 799 pounds were 24.0 percent lower than a year ago, amounting to 22,908 head. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds totaled 74,977 head, 10.0 percent less than a year ago. In the meantime, Canada’s fed cattle marketings equaled 126,621 head, which was 3.7 percent more than one year ago but was 14.4 percent less than two years ago. To view the complete report, go to the CanFax website at http://www.canfax.ca/.

On May 18, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its monthly Cattle on Feed report. According to the data, on May 1, 2012, cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled equaled 11.11 million head. This was down slightly from one year ago but was up 6.5 percent over two years ago. During April, 1.52 million head of cattle were placed on feed, which was down 14.8 percent from one year ago and was down 6.9 percent from two years ago. More specifically, placements of feeder cattle declined in each weight category compared to a year ago. Placements weighing less than 600 pounds were down 20.2 percent from last year, amounting to 355,000 head. Placements of feeder cattle weighing 600 to 699 pounds totaled 250,000 head, 19.4 percent lower than a year ago. Placements weighing 700 to 799 pounds declined 21.6 percent from last year to 380,000 head. Finally, placements of feeder cattle weighing more than 800 pounds equaled 536,000 head, 1.7 percent less than a year ago. In the meantime, during April, U.S. fed cattle marketings totaled 1.82 million head. This was slightly higher than one year ago but was 2.3 percent lower than two years ago. The complete report is available on the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

On May 22, USDA NASS released its monthly Cold Storage report. According to the report, as of April 30, 2012, beef in U.S. cold storage facilities totaled 517.5 million pounds, which was 16.8 percent more than last year. Also, this was 20.6 percent more than the five year average and was the largest volume since November 2006. Specifically, boneless beef in cold storage was up 16.4 percent over a year ago, amounting to 446.1 million pounds. The volume of beef cuts in cold storage was 19.2 percent higher than a year ago, totaling 71.5 million pounds. Meanwhile, pork in cold storage at the end of April equaled 659.5 million pounds. This was up 20.1 percent over a year ago and was up 13.2 percent over the five year average. This was the highest volume since April 2008 and the second highest on record. The volume of hams in storage equaled 112.6 million pounds. This was 46.2 percent greater than a year ago. Pork bellies in cold storage totaled 66.1 million pounds, which was 25.9 percent higher than last year. The volume of loins in storage was 27.3 percent more than last year, amounting to 44.7 million pounds. Pork ribs in cold storage totaled 109.7 million pounds, 12.9 percent higher than a year ago. Pork butts in cold storage equaled 31.6 million pounds, which was 17.7 percent greater than last year. The volume of trimmings in cold storage increased 11.3 percent over last year to 61.2 million pounds. Veal in U.S. cold storage facilities totaled 3.8 million pounds, nearly unchanged from a year ago. Lamb and mutton in storage totaled 19.4 million pounds, up 46.3 percent over last year. To obtain the complete report, visit the NASS website at http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

Oceania

The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) recently issued the results of Australia’s first quarter cattle on feed survey. According to the numbers, Australia’s cattle on feed on March 31, 2012 totaled 752,113 head. This was 4.9 percent less than the previous quarter due to the high Australian dollar and international trading conditions. However, this was 2.0 percent more than a year ago. The majority of Australia’s cattle on feed were found in the state of Queensland with 415,508 head, which comprised 55.2 percent of the total. Combined, Queensland and New South Wales had 87.0 percent of the total cattle on feed in Australia, or 654,211 head. During the first quarter of 2012, Australia’s feedlot capacity totaled 1,278,414 head. This was 4.4 percent less than the previous quarter and was 4.0 percent less than a year ago. Queensland had the largest feedlot capacity with 631,598 head, which accounted for 49.4 percent of the total. Capacity utilization was at 59 percent, compared to 59 percent the previous quarter and 55 percent a year ago. During the first quarter, Australia’s cattle marketings equaled 592,199 head. This was 3.0 percent higher than the previous quarter and was 5.1 percent higher than a year ago. During the first quarter of 2012, Australia’s cattle slaughter totaled 1,553,459 head. Although this was 3.1 percent less than one year ago, it was 1.0 percent more than two years ago. The complete report can be found on the ALFA website at http://www.feedlots.com.au/.

Pacific Rim

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) recently issued April 2012 beef and pork import data for South Korea. According to the data, during April, South Korea imported 22,225 MT of beef. Although this was 3.8 percent higher than the previous month, it was 14.7 percent lower than April 2011. More specifically, frozen been imports totaled 19,185 MT, which represented 86.3 percent of the total. Fresh, chilled beef imports totaled 3,040 MT. During April, South Korea imported 10,699 MT of beef from Australia. This was 2.9 percent less than the previous month and was 19.0 percent less than April 2011. Total year-to-date beef imports from Australia were 12.8 percent below a year ago, amounting to 42,028 MT. Australia was the main beef import market for South Korea with 48.5 percent of the total. South Korea’s beef imports from the U.S. during April rose 7.5 percent over March to 8,448 MT. However, this was down 10.1 percent from April 2011. Year-todate beef imports from the U.S. were 6.9 percent less than last year, totaling 33,764 MT. During April, South Korea imported 2,631 MT of beef from New Zealand. This was up 19.4 percent over the previous month but was down 13.9 percent from April 2011. Yearto- date beef imports from New Zealand equaled 9,271 MT, which was 25.0 percent below a year ago. Overall, South Korea’s total year-to-date beef imports equaled 86,592 MT, which was 11.9 percent less than the corresponding period a year ago due to weak consumer demand. Meanwhile, South Korea’s pork imports during April fell 24.7 percent from the previous month and 31.4 percent from April 2011 to 36,508 MT. Pork imports from the U.S. during February equaled 12,655 MT. This was down 4.8 percent from the previous month and was down 33.1 percent from April 2011. Total year-to-date pork imports from the U.S. were 8.5 percent lower than last year, amounting to 50,076 MT. The U.S. was the main supplier of pork to South Korea with 32.0 percent of the total imports. During April, South Korea imported 4,349 MT of pork from Canada, which was 45.8 percent less than March and was 46.7 percent less than April 2011. Additionally, this was the lowest single month total since October 2010. Year-to-date pork imports from Canada totaled 22,525 MT, which was 16.0 percent less than a year ago. South Korea’s pork imports from Chile during February equaled 3,345 MT. This was 5.1 percent lower than the previous month and was 4.8 percent lower than April 2011. Year-to-date pork imports from Chile were down 6.7 percent from a year ago, amounting to 12,660 MT. Overall, South Korea’s total year-to-date pork imports equaled 156,444 MT, which was slightly higher than the same period a year ago. To obtain further data on South Korea’s trade, go to the KITA website at http://www.kita.org/.

May 2012

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