October meat trade was positive for pork, poultry and beef. Pork exports were up 9.1 percent year over year for the month leading to a year to date total up 2.0 percent. Broiler exports were up 8.1 percent in October compared to last year. Year to date broiler exports for the first ten months of the year are up 2.5 percent over one year ago. Beef exports in October were 16.9 percent above last year with year to date beef exports up 9.4 percent. Meat exports have accelerated recently with year over year July to October pork exports up 6.3 percent; broiler exports up 14.5 percent; and beef exports up 20.3 percent. Moving additional meat offshore helps to moderate growing U.S. meat supplies due to increased pork, poultry and beef production in 2016. The U.S. dollar continues strong and will continue to represent a headwind for meat exports but exports continue to grow despite this adversity.
Beef exports are strong to most Asian markets with South Korea up 66.0 percent in October compared to last year and up 35.2 percent for the year to date. Exports to Japan were up 35.9 percent year over year in October and are up 15.9 percent for the first ten months of the year. Taiwan and Vietnam are smaller beef export markets but were up 91.3 and 71.4 percent respectively in October compared to last year. Hong Kong, however, was down 14.7 percent in October and is down 5.6 percent so far this year. In North America, beef exports to Mexico were down 12.1 percent year over year in October but remain 8.5 percent higher for the year to date so far this year. U.S beef exports to Canada in October were down 5.9 percent and contributed to an 8.0 percent year over year decrease for the first ten months of the year.
Conversely, total beef imports continued declining in October, down 4.9 percent year over year and are down 13.1 percent for the January to October period compared to last year. After rising sharply in 2014 and 2015, beef imports from Australia were down 51.6 percent year over year in October and are down 39.4 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year. Beef imports from New Zealand were 9.0 percent lower in October than one year ago and are down 7.8 percent through October this year compared to last year. October beef imports from Mexico were up 58.3 percent over last year and are up 17.7 percent for the year to date. Beef imports from Canada are also up; increasing 27.8 percent in October over last year and up 15.6 percent for the January to October total compared to last year. Beef imports from Brazil were up 30.8 percent year over year in October. This would include the first fresh beef shipments under the new beef trade agreement between the U.S. and Brazil. For the year to date, beef imports from Brazil are down 13.4 percent from year ago levels. Just smaller than Brazil as beef import sources, beef imports from Uruguay are down 16.9 percent for the year to date while Nicaragua is up 3.4 percent so far this year over the same period in 2015.
Total cattle imports were down 29.9 percent in October and 19.3 percent for the year to date compared to last year. This includes 9.0 percent fewer cattle from Canada and 27.1 percent less cattle from Mexico so far this year compared to the same period in 2015. More slaughter cattle have been imported from Canada including 43.0 percent more slaughter steers and heifers that more than offsets a 6.7 percent decrease in imported slaughter cows and bulls. Overall slaughter cattle imports from Canada are up 17.7 percent year over year so far this year. Feeder cattle imports from Canada are down 41.2 percent year over year through October. Mexican feeder cattle imports were down 50.5 percent year over year in October and total cattle imports from Mexico are down 27.1 percent through October compared to last year. Reduced feeder cattle imports from Canada and Mexico are providing a significant offset to the larger 2016 U.S. calf crop, thereby limiting the increase in feeder supplies in 2016.