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'U.S. Meat Export Sentiment' survey reflects optimism

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Sentiment declined from January but remains strong.

The latest "U.S. Meat Export Sentiment" survey was conducted April 15-28 by the Kansas State University department of agricultural economics, in collaboration with the North American Meat Institute. The Overall Sentiment Index score in April was 138, which indicates that the industry largely holds a positive sentiment regarding exports. However, it was down from 150 in January.

The Current U.S. Meat Export Sentiment Index score was 117, down from 130, and the Future U.S. Meat Export Sentiment Index score was 158, down from 170.  Any score over 100 is considered positive, so the results show more optimism regarding the future U.S. meat export situation than the current situation.

Respondents for the latest survey predominantly self-identified as either a “processor” or “packer/processor” and indicated that either pork or beef was the meat product providing the largest total value source of their export business.

Looking out over the next 12 months, 83% of survey respondents expected only a small change in their company’s total value of exports.

When asked which country would increase imports of U.S. meat the most, China was the predominant response provided. Japan is also expected to increase imports of U.S. meats, coming in second.

Respondents chose production volumes in the U.S., prices in competing exporting countries, production volumes in competing exporting countries and prices in the U.S. as the most supportive factors for exports.

Conversely, the U.S. dollar exchange rate, regulation in competing export countries, U.S. cold storage stocks and production practice requests/requirements of candidate importers were chosen as the most restricting factors.

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