Beef Buzz News
USMEF's Erin Borror Sees Growth in US Beef Exports for the Remainder of 2022Fri, 06 May 2022 10:13:20 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays visits with Erin Borror, the Vice President for Economic Analysis at the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Hays and Borror talk about the latest March Beef Export numbers just out from the USDA, compiled by the USMEF.
"Beef remained really impressive, so it was a new value record," Borror said. "Over a billion dollars shipped out again in March and that was on a value basis, up by a third, year-on-year."
For some context, Borror said we have seen those beef prices, including for the export items, accelerate from about April, to May a year ago. So, Borror added, we are going to get into more challenging year-on-year comparisons, especially from the middle of this year.
"Every month continues to be impressive, and it's exporting a larger share of production and pretty widespread growth," Borror said. "So, your big Asian markets continue to lead, and you had Korea up 9% in the first quarter on volume."
Borror said China, including Hong Kong, was up 36% again. These continue to be big gainers, she added.
"Then you have kind of widespread growth," Borror said. "The Middle East is coming back in on both variety meats and muscle cuts."
Taiwan is up 47%, which is a huge start into that market, Borror said. In the islands, the Caribbean, and the Dominican Republic, we are seeing some foodservice coming back in there, Borror added, and they were up 41%.
"Central America has been really strong on both beef and pork, and they continued to grow, so those beef volumes sent Central America up 14%," Borror said.
Korea is now our number one destination for U.S. Beef in this latest month.
"If we just look at muscle cuts, Korea had been number one for a bit last year, and Japan still takes so many tongues and skirts and hangers, which sometimes get categorized as variety meats," Borror said. "Japan still had been holding number one when you add everything together. But yes, for quarter one, Korea came ahead for everything, beef variety meats are to be our number one destination, that market is just incredible."
Borror said she calls this her "model market", because we have watched it go from candlelight vigils in the street protesting U.S. beef to world-class beef, and that is where we are today.
The market is still struggling with setbacks in China due to Covid.
"In this market, we are optimistic for the year," Borror said. "We have maybe pulled back our growth for the entire year given the situation mostly in Sheng Hai, but in other cities. Then, of course, there are concerns about Beijing."
We cannot downplay the current situation's significance Borror said because most of the U.S. beef had been going into that Sheng Hai port. There are some challenges there with moving products out of port because of restrictions.
"Not to mention, demand impacts restrictions on foodservice," Borror said. "But still, this can't last forever, and we know there is still the demand in that market. We know as more U.S. companies get involved in the business there is still big growth potential."
Borror said U.S. beef is now the biggest grain-fed supplier into the China market. We surpassed Australia all the way back late in 2020, Borror added.
"Australia, of course, has had smaller supplies, so that alternating cycle didn't hurt," Borror said. "But really, just with the gains, the phase one agreement has been growing ever since."
On a balance sheet, Borror said China's only constraint is supply availability from the world, not just the U.S. There is unimaginable demand on the balance sheet basis, she added.
"So yes, headwinds at the moment, although it is not really showing up in the data," Borror said. "We know it is challenging in the market, but still, we see growth for the year on a whole as things start to normalize in China."
Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Erin Borror on the latest March Beef Export numbers.
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