Producers Encouraged by Foreign Markets

US - Last week, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contractor to the beef checkoff, held their annual meeting in New Orleans. Producers, packers, processors and exporters are both encouraged and enthusiastic about export markets as demand for beef remains very strong despite some of the domestic hurdles that have been encountered in recent months and the ongoing challenge of market access.
calendar icon 28 May 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

Joel Haggard, senior vice president for the Asia/Pacific region said: “Everyone is anticipating new market access in Japan. I think that Japan also experienced an increase in import demand the second half last year – again that stabilised. There’s still concern over the safety of domestic product.

On the beef side in Korea, interesting story. Although the BSE episode created relatively little consumption impact in most of the Asian countries, I would say in Korea it’s been quite significant.

"US beef sales in Korea have been quite weak. We’re challenged in the Taiwan market because of the issue of ractopamine – there’s zero tolerance for any meat imported with traces of it.

"Just on China, I think the US beef industry looks very much forward to getting access to China. China’s beef imports as reported by their customs are going up again – they have record-high beef prices.”

John Brook gave an update on beef exports to Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

“Beef in Russia is also performing well in the first quarter. Under the WTO agreement the country-specific quotas remain, but the US government was successful in negotiating a significant increase in the beef quota for the United States to 60 thousand tons this year.

The Middle East traditionally having been the major market for US variety meats and beef livers, but now it’s seeing larger and larger quantities of muscle cuts and value meats moving to that area. To move on to Europe: we’ve got better market access in Europe now. The duty-free beef quota will be expanded on the first of August from its current 20,000 tons to 48,200 tons. I feel very confident that U.S. beef has now made a very deep impression in Europe.”

Chad Russell concludes the regional updates with news from Mexico and Central America.

Beef has been down this year 13 percent through March – they had a small uptick last year – but from the peak of 396,000 metric tons in 2008 which was the record level, we’re down now to 257,000 – a decline of 35 per cent. And again, we’re down this year so far as well.

"I guess the one bright spot in terms of looking a little bit further out in the future, because of the severe drought, Mexicans have increased their slaughter of beef cattle last year by about five per cent. They increased their exports of feeder cattle to the United States by about 50 per cent – they exported almost 1.9 million head of feeder cattle to the United States last year.

"There’s going to be less Mexican beef in the marketplace today and into the future. Central America is a small market but it’s a dynamic market. For example, on high-quality beef cuts and offals, the Panamanian duty goes to zero upon implementation of the free trade agreement with Panama.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.