The latest meat export data shows demand for U.S. beef, chicken and pork abroad is helping buffer what is deemed as excess meat production in 2018, according to Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist. He said beef, pork and chicken production is expected to reach record levels at 102.3 billion pounds, up 2.6% year-over-year.
He said the 2018 per capita meat consumption in the U.S. is projected at 218.7 pounds, up 1% year over year. The U.S. continues to import mostly beef (largely hamburger) from other countries.
“The smaller increase in meat consumption compared to production is largely due to the net movement of meat offshore through meat exports,” Peel said. “Thus far in 2018 (January – October), total meat exports of 13.3 billion pounds consist of chicken (44%); pork (36.3%); and beef (19.7%).”
Peel said chicken exports in October rose 4.2% from a year ago. Through October, broiler chicken exports are up 3.9% for the year. He explained Mexico accounts for 20.1% of chicken exports thus far in 2018, with October exports up 15.3% and 2018 year-to-date exports up 7.6%.
The Caribbean collectively is the second-largest market accounting for 9% of total U.S. broiler chicken exports in 2018. However, broiler exports to the Caribbean were down 35.3% year-over-year in October, and are down 6.1% for the first 10 months of 2018. Angola is the third-largest market for broiler exports and was up 56.1% in October and is up 19.7% for the year in 2018. Peel said Angola accounted for 7.1% of total broiler chicken exports through October. He said Canada and Hong Kong round out the top five broiler export markets, with each accounting for less than 5% of total exports and both down thus far in 2018.
“The top five broiler export markets account for about 45% of broiler chicken exports with the remaining 55% spread over more than 150 other countries, Peel said.
Pork exports were up 1.5% year-over-year in October and are up 5.4% for the year to date. Mexico is the largest pork export destination accounting for 30.8% of total pork exports in 2018. Peel said pork exports to Mexico were down 3.9% year over year in October but are up 1.1 % for the year.
Japan accounts for 21% of pork export in 2018, up 8.9% year-over-year in October and is fractionally higher year-to-date. Pork export market South Korea represents 11.9% of the year-to-date exports. Pork exports to South Korea were up 25.8% year-over-year in October, and are up 39% so far this year. Pork exports to Canada were down in October and year to date. Canada represents 9% of pork exports so far this year.
Peel said beef exports continue to be strong through October, up 4.6%, with total exports rising 12.3% so far in 2018 over last year. Japan accounts for 28.4% of beef exports this year. In October exports rose 10.8%, adding to a 6.7% year-to-date increase. He said beef exports to South Korea were up 17.1% in October rising 39.9% year to date, compared to 2017. South Korea accounts for 20.4% of total beef exports in 2018.
Peel said meat exports are forecast to increase in 2019 while total meat imports are forecast to decrease.
“Continued improvements in the net trade balance will be critical to partially offset total 2019 meat production forecast at 103.7 billion pounds, up 1.4% year over year and another record level. Domestic per capita total meat consumption is forecast to hold steady in 2019,” Peel said.