Mixed start for 2014 ag trade

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Monthly export totals for red meats and meat products dropped off somewhat in January, but overall U.S. trade in agricultural products started 2014 at a good pace, according to the latest trade data from USDA.  

Beef exports rose 13 percent in volume and 16 percent in value for the month, bolstered by double-digit growth to Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong, according to the USMEF.

The value of U.S. exports of red meat and products, at $1.09 billion for January, declined 4 percent from $1.1 billion in December 213. The export volume of those products dropped two percent to 311,000 metric tons, compared with 318,000 metric tons in December.

During the period from October 2013 through January 2014, the value of red-meat exports increased by 6 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, with the volume essentially unchanged.

The value of exported hides and skins increased from $213 million in December to $284 million in January, a gain of 33 percent. During the October through January time period, the value of exported hides and skins increased 11 percent relative to a year earlier.

Pork exports rose 3 percent in volume and 2 percent in value for the month, driven by growth to Mexico, while lamb exports increased 7 percent in volume and 9 percent in value according to USMEF.

Exports of dairy products lost 4 percent in value from December to January, but for October through January, dairy export value increased by 45 percent year-over-year. Imports of dairy products declined by 16 percent from December to January and were unchanged from a year earlier during October through January.

The value of U.S. corn exports during January, at $657 million, declined by 20 percent compared with December, but the value of corn exports from October through January increased by 53 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

The value of imports of beef and veal during January, at $312 million, increased from $274 million during December. From October through January, the value of beef and veal exports increased by 5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

The value of imports of live animals meanwhile declined by 26 percent from December to January, and by 2 percent for the October through January time period.

The total value of U.S. agricultural exports during January was $14.2 billion and the value of imports was $8.9 billion, leaving a positive trade balance of $5.3 billion. The trade balance was down from $5.9 billion in December and $7.4 billion in November, but up from $4.1 billion a year earlier in January 2013.

View the latest ag-trade data from USDA.



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