Beef export forecast lowered slightly

Russell Knight/Hannah Taylor, USDA, ERS

February 1, 2024

Export #2 65981515cf98a

October beef exports totaled nearly 242 million pounds, almost 21 percent lower year over year and 11 percent below the 5-year average. Monthly exports to nearly every major market were lower year over year with the exception of Taiwan and Mexico. October exports to Taiwan were nearly 11 percent higher year over year, and exports to Mexico were about 6 percent higher. The value of total U.S. beef exports through October is just over 7.8 billion dollars, which is 17 percent lower than last year.

Australia’s exports through September this year were about 22 percent higher than a year ago. The chart below compares selected Asian countries’ beef imports from the United States, Australia and Brazil, as well as total imports from the world, as reported in the Trade Data Monitor. Most Asian markets have imported less total beef from the world through September this year, but in some markets Australia’s share of those imports has grown as its production has increased and it has stepped up to fill the gap left by lower U.S. exportable supplies. This is the case especially in both South Korea and Taiwan. Japan has imported nearly 9 percent less beef year over year, but despite a decrease in shipments the United States still remains the largest supplier of beef imports to Japan. The main supplier of beef to China and Hong Kong is Brazil; Hong Kong has imported significantly less beef from Brazil compared to a year ago, while China’s imports of beef from Brazil are up slightly.

The export forecast for fourth-quarter 2023 is lowered slightly by 5 million pounds to 715 million. The annual forecast is 3.030 billion, a year-over-year decrease of almost 15 percent. The export forecast for 2024 is unchanged from last month at 2.845 billion pounds.

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