More beef imports in the US market


Brazil and New Zealand shipments have increased in the last half of the year.

Posted on Jul 21 ,12:05

More beef imports in the US market

Brazil was the first country to report an increase in beef exports to the US and now New Zealand confirms the trend in the North American market. For the first five months of the year, Brazilian beef shipments to the US market rose 165.6% to 33,800 tonnes, according to Brazilian beef lobby Abiec. Exports surged 186% in May alone, making the United States the third biggest foreign buyer of Brazilian beef.
Meantime, New Zealand is also increasing its presence in the US beef market, according to Beefan+Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ). NZ chilled beef exports to the US surged in both April and May, reflecting the improvement in the foodservice sector and the increasing appetite of US consumers for high-value beef. In May, chilled beef exports lifted 90% on May 2020, which might not be surprising given demand was depressed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. But, New Zealand’s chilled beef exports to the US in May 2021 were more than double the five-year average for May. The increase was accompanied by a 5% lift in average export value year-on-year and a 15% lift on the five-year average. This follows a similar trend in April.
In fact, US consumer spending on food in May lifted to a record high, surpassing the pre-COVID high seen in February 2020.
That may also be explained by the high exports figures for US beef, especially to China. According to USMEF, beef exports reached a new volume high in May, totaling 133,440 tonnes, up 68% from a year ago, with China accounting for 16,472 tonnes. January-May exports to China reached 64,763 tonnes valued at $474.7 million – each up about 1,200% year-over-year and already establishing new annual records.
Looking forward, US demand for meat protein is expected to remain high through 2021 as demand from the recovering foodservice sector continues to challenge available supplies. Demand from China is expected to continue to provide competitive pressure to prices, says the B+LNZ’s Economic Service team.

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