U.S. beef sales to Japan seen up 12% in 2016
U.S. beef is poised to claim a larger share of Japan’s beef imports in 2016 largely because of a reduction in Australian beef production, USDA’s attache’s office said this week.
The attache report projects a 12% increase U.S. beef sales to Japan in 2016 to 259,000 metric tons as imports from Australia are projected to fall by 7% to 378,000 MT, resulting in overall market shares of 36 and 52 percent respectively.
U.S. chilled beef cuts are expected to lead the expansion, replacing a percentage of Australian chilled, grain-fed cuts on retail shelves. Minor suppliers like Mexico and Canada may also increase their market shares in 2016, though the volumes from these two countries should remain relatively small.
The report said that in Japan beef will continue to have stiff competition for consumer spending in both retail stores and in food service because of ample supplies of lower-priced pork and poultry in 2016. “Japanese consumer buying power remains constrained, reinforcing the conditions pushing consumers towards lower-priced animal protein options,” it said.
China to buy more U.S. soybeans
Growth in China oilseed production continues to be hampered by limited arable land and by recent domestic policies that favor grain production, while consumption should increase due to greater consumption of meats, seafood and vegetable oils, USDA’s attache said this week.
Soybean imports could reach 3.1 billion bushels in the 2016/2017 market year, up from the estimated 3.0 billion in the current year, in line with USDA’s March 2016 estimate. China’s imports of U.S. soybeans are expected to stay strong at about 1.1 billion bushels in 2016/17 market year, up from the 1.05 billion in the current year. However, U.S. soybeans face fierce competition from South American suppliers.
China’s total planted area for all oilseed crops is forecast to drop 2% to 21.87 million hectares ( 54 million acres) and total oilseed production is forecast to decrease by 2.1% to 52.7 million metric tons in the 2016/2017 market year (Oct 2016-Sept 2017). The lower forecast reflects an expected decline in rapeseed and cottonseed production –a combined 1.5 million metric tons - as policy changes and lower market prices reduced earnings in these commodities.
The forecast for soybean production is up slightly, while peanut production should be stable, responding to high comparative profits.
Ethiopia to double wheat imports as drought hits crop – attache
Ethiopia is forecast to double imports of wheat this year to offset losses in domestic production due to the “worst drought to hit the country in decades,” USDA’s attache office said.
Production of major grains should be down about 4.5 million metric tons in the 2015/2016 market year (Oct-Sep). As a result, wheat imports are forecast at a record 2.5 million tons (91.85 million bushels), more than double the previous year.
The United States is projected to sell Ethiopia 25.7 million bushels of wheat this year, up from 4.41 million last year. That may drop to about 11 million in the 2016/2017 year.
The attache assumes more normal weather for the 2016/2017 crop year, which should help grain production recover.