Beef Import/Export Data
Economic Research Service (ERS) compiled and posted the monthly U.S. trade
data for meat and livestock. The latest compilation is for July.
Today’s focus on beef tonnage exported and imported overlooks the dollar
values involved, that is important, for example, because the dollar values
of beef that U.S. imports is typically much less than that of exports.
In July, compared
to June’s, U.S. beef export tonnage was essentially unchanged. Still, the
trend of year-over-year increases since July 2016 was maintained (up 10%).
A total of 83 different countries bought enough U.S. beef to be recorded
by ERS in July. Among the major destinations, more tonnage was shipped
than a year earlier to Japan (up 22%), Hong Kong (33%), Vietnam (59%),
and Canada (5%).
A bit of a surprise
in the data was the tonnage of beef imported by the U.S. in July, which
increased month-over-month by 2% and was 11% above 2016’s. Of the major
import sources, the only drops compared to a year ago were for products
from Australia and Brazil.
The graphics above
is for beef net trade tonnage. That is net beef imports beef (tonnage of
imports minus exports). Again, as stated earlier, this is tonnage and not
value (the value of exported beef per unit is well bigger than that of
imported product). In June, the tonnage of beef imported by the U.S. exceeded
exports. Note that typically the U.S. flips from being a net importer to
a net exporter of beef during the second half of the calendar year.