February 29, 2016

U.S. cattle on feed down, but red meat exports looking positive

While the Cattle of Feed report that came out earlier this month showed a decline in cattle on feed for Nebraska and the U.S., there was a positive report on global meat exports from USMEF.

Cattle on Feed Report

Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.46 million cattle on feed on February 1, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 2 percent from last year. Placements during January totaled 490,000 head, down 3 percent from 2015. Fed cattle marketings for the month of January totaled 435,000 head, down 3 percent from last year. Other disappearance during January totaled 15,000 head, unchanged from last year.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on February 1, 2016. The inventory was slightly below February 1, 2015.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.78 million head, 1 percent below 2015. Net placements were 1.72 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 340,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 365,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 494,000 head, and 800 pounds and greater were 580,000 head.

Positive Signs for U.S. Red Meat Emerging Markets 

FAS Regional Counselor Quintin Gray (left) and USDA Undersecretary
Alexis Taylor (right) assist chef Robin Gomes at the Taste of the U.S.A.
culinary demonstration at Gulfood 2016. Photo credit: USMEF
The U.S.Meat Export Federation recently participated in Gulfood 2016 which included a week of face-to-face meetings with potential customers from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. The region’s largest food show, which attracted about 90,000 people from 170 countries this year, was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president for global marketing, said the atmosphere at Gulfood was upbeat despite economic challenges in the region created by declining oil prices. He described the show as very productive from the U.S. meat industry’s standpoint.

“The interest level from many countries was exciting,” said Halstrom. “Whether we are talking about the UAE, Jordan, Ghana, or South Africa, it was obvious that with the emerging nature of some of these market economies there is excellent potential for imported beef products.”

South Africa in particular was a hot topic of discussion at Gulfood, Halstrom noted. The market recently reopened to U.S. beef for the first time since 2003, and USMEF is planning in-market visits and a buyers’ event in that part of the world later this year. Just this past Friday, it was announced that South Africa has also reopened to U.S. pork.

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