United States beef exports have performed exceptionally well over the last few years, showing year-to-year gains in both volume and value. In 2016, the market had a good year, and 2017 proves to be better.
The latest information showing weekly beef exports sales indicates beef export sales were strong, at 16,924 metric tonnes in the latest week. The amount doubled compared to the same week last year, 8,311 tonnes. The previous four week sales ran -15% to +19%, compared to last year. Year-to-date sales run 10.3% over last year at this time.
However, the byproducts of cattle – from hides to organ meat – are declining in value. The reasoning behind the decline, and optimism for 2018 is relayed by an expert on exports.
Radio Oklahoma Farm Director Ron Hayes spoke with Jim Robb, with the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver. Robb says the latest numbers have been strong.
“In the summer months, we export our largest tonnage, on a seasonal basis,” Robb said. “Japan has been a strong market and year-over-year gains have been almost phenomenal.”
Overall, Robb says the meat export market’s demand profile has been supportive and is a dynamic he insists is important to keep in mind when looking ahead into the future.
As of now, Robb believes we are on a track to surpass the record amount of tonnage exported. Robb says nothing on the horizon suggests this dynamic will change come 2018. However, Robb reminds us that the international market can be fickle.
While the world economy continues to grow at a significant rate, Robb says drop credits and more specifically, hides could put a dent in export trade. Robb worries it could slow things down in the long run.
“We had some of the lowest values for hides, liver and tongue in recent weeks,” Robb said.” It’s a bit of a quandary as to why we’ve struggled to export the byproducts that have lagged here at this point, and we’re still trying to sort that out.”