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Beef Buzz News

Robb: Beef and Pork Exports Surging Despite Higher Prices

Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:30:26 CDT

Robb:  Beef and Pork Exports Surging Despite Higher Prices

When you step back and take big picture look at the beef and pork exports right now, first quarter turn out pretty good says Jim Robb Director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center.

"I think overall for the first quarter of this year, we were pleasantly surprised on total red meat exports," Robb said. "Both beef and pork were
up substantially for the first quarter and we have record high beef prices, so that's the good news."

"On the beef front, we had for the month of March, exports up over five percent from year ago levels, with very strong exports to two key countries, Mexico and South Korea, Robb said. "Some softness some other markets, but those are two markets that we really do watch closely and are two of top four marketplaces."

"On the pork side, we had a huge surge in exports up 22 percent from a year ago," Robb said.   "We have remember on the pork front that most of those orders were made prior to the huge runup in the pork cutout value, the wholesale market, due to the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, but still on balance on surprisingly good export demand across the red meats for the first quarter of 2014."

With the tight supplies for beef and pork, that pushes prices higher, expecially for international buyers, Robb is optimistic this trend will continue in 2014.

"Beef exports have been rather heathy, the value of beef exports is still setting records for most months, but the tonnage at these high prices, we would maybe expect a little bit slippage on the tonnage front compared to a year ago as we get into the summer months, just depending on what our wholesale beef prices are," Robb said.

"So in fact a little bit of slippage might be less than normal given the record high beef prices as a economist looks at this export demand, Robb said. "I think demand will hold up overall, but to maintain strong year over year increases in the beef export market could be difficult this summer with our very tight supplies and record high beef prices."

"As we look, certainly the Asian markets are key and I think we need to also monitor the Mexican market as one of the key export markets that can provide some pleasant surprises as we look ahead, " Robb said.

While there are some battles going on over middle-meat cuts, steak like cuts between domestic and international consumers, there are various cuts of the beef carcass like beef short ribs and variety meats that international users are willing to pay a lot more than the domestic customers, so as long as demand hold strong for those items its really good news for the US Cattle industry.

Robb's comments were complimentary of Eric Atkinson of Agricultural Today with Kansas State University Research and Extension News.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


LMIC's Jim Rob talks about the export outlook for beef.
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