U.S. international meat trade looks positive

International meat trade moderates effects of increased U.S. meat production as exports grow and imports shrink.

The latest international meat trade data is generally positive.

U.S. meat exports continued to grow, year-over-year, in the latest trade data for August. Beef exports were up 29.5% from last year, along with pork exports up 11.4% and broiler exports up 16.7%.

Additionally, beef imports were down 16.0% in August, while cattle imports were down 18.0%, compared with levels one year ago. Total U.S. red meat and poultry production in 2016 is projected to increase 2.7% over 2015 levels. However, nearly half of that increase is expected to move off-shore, with net meat exports projected to increase 11.5% compared with 2015. This will hold domestic meat consumption to a projected 1.3% year over year increase.

Beef leads the way in 2016 with production projected to increase roughly 4.6% over year-ago levels. In terms of quantity, the U.S. will continue to be a net beef importer in 2016, but a nearly 60% decrease in net beef imports will limit domestic beef consumption to a projected increase of 1.7%

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