Trade

Big dip forecast in US beef exports

Jon Condon, 15/06/2012

 

The United States is likely to record a large 5.9 percent reduction in beef exports in 2012, compared with record shipments in 2011, latest US Department of Agriculture data shows.

The USDA’s June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) released yesterday reveal some significant changes to projected meat and poultry supply and utilisation.

In the beef segment, the report lowered its expectation for US exports this year by a further 1.9pc.

That change brings forecast 2012 exports down to 2.62 billion pounds carcase weight, a 5.9pc reduction from their record-high level seen last year. At one point during 2011, the US was the world’s largest beef exporter.

Forecasts over US beef imports were also increased slightly in the USDA’s latest report, to 2.44 billion pounds, 18.5pc higher than one year ago, reflecting lower US cow slaughter and the stronger US$.

The reduction in Lean Finely Textured Beef output in the US has also restricted lean grinding beef supplies, creating a need for more imported cow beef. Australia’s beef exports to the US, calendar year to date, have reached just over 100,000 tonnes, up about 30pc on the same period last year.

With US beef production projected by USDA to fall by 4.2pc this year, even lower exports and higher imports are not enough to maintain the amount of beef available to US consumers at 2011 levels.

Domestic beef availability/consumption is now forecast to fall 2.8pc to 55.7 lb (25.3kg) in 2012 and to drop another 2.2pc to 24.7kg in 2013, USDA says.

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