The 2014 market has provided upside surprises from all perspectives. And it’s led to increased discussion about new dynamics around the fundamentals that underscore beef demand. Much of that perspective is from the context of domestic demand. However, beef exports are also a high significant component of demand and revenue for the U.S. beef complex.
Last year’s export value established a new record for the industry, exceeding $6 billion with a mark of $2.78 billion through the first half of the year. This year’s export market is running nearly $430 million ahead of last year’s pace for a total of $3.2 billion through June. That rate equates to $300/head for every fed steer and heifer harvested.
In total, improved domestic demand and tightening supply has been the overwhelming driver of the market’s surge – tacking on about $17.50/cwt. compared to last year. Meanwhile, increased beef export value has added on an additional $4/cwt. to the market vs. 2013.
Export totals could easily surpass $6.5 billion in 2014 and establish a new all-time record – the fifth in five years. The world, though, can seem unsettled: political tension and economies can seemingly get upended at any time.
How do you perceive international beef demand for U.S. beef? From your perspective, what is the largest threat to continued growth of export markets? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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