China advances in beef export grading

Basic beef export numbers appear weak, but not too different from recent trends. The low cattle slaughter rate in April 2022 saw its lowest exports since 1996. Figure 1 shows that the decline in total exports was largely in line with the seasonal trend.

Total beef exports were down 17% in March and 15% in March 2021. After last month, when we looked at export consolidation in the biggest markets, this month they took the biggest hit. falls. Beef exports to Japan fell 25% from a year ago, South Korea by 26% and the United States by 17%.

Exports to China fell from last month, but rose 8% from a year ago. Exports to China were still in second place, and only 15% less than Japan, which retained first place. It was, however, very strong compared to last year’s average of 37%.

Beef export values ​​tell a lot, but we only have them through February. Figure 2 shows the value of beef exported to China, the United States and Japan divided by volume. This gives a price per kilogram. Interestingly, Japan lags behind the other two major markets, but that could have something to do with the number of bone-in cuts.

The price of beef exported to China has kept pace with the US and has slowly contributed to US market share.

In its latest update, Steiner reported that some shipments to China were diverted in April due to issues downloading ships and transporting beef due to Covid lockdowns. This can be seen somewhat in the data, with Taiwan receiving 915 tonnes more beef in April than in March and 61% more than on April 21 (Figure 3). It was the biggest export month to Taiwan since 2019, and shows that demand is still quite good in smaller markets. When they can get it.

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