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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
USMEF Virtual Conference Highlights Market Diversification, Logistical Challenges, Trade Policy Outlook
Challenges, Trade Policy Outlook
Representing a wide range of agricultural sectors, members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) gathered in a virtual format for the federation's annual Spring Conference, held May 26-27.

USMEF Chair Pat Binger, who heads international sales for Cargill Protein North America, opened the conference by discussing the importance of market diversification in achieving sustained success for U.S. red meat exports.

"The most recent export results - which are from March - provide a great illustration of this," Binger said. "Our leading pork market - China - was down significantly, yet pork exports still set new volume and value records. The leading beef market - Japan - was also down, but beef exports set a new value record and beef muscle cut volume was the largest ever. We know there will always be twists and turns in our top markets, which makes diversification extremely important."

Binger noted that USMEF saw excellent growth potential in Southeast Asia, Central and South America and Africa, and in recent years has committed more staff and resources to these regions. This forward-looking approach has helped expand the global footprint for U.S. pork, beef and lamb.

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom updated members on COVID-related restrictions in key export markets and gave a detailed recap of first quarter export results, which were highlighted by the record March performance. He said 2021 promises to be an outstanding year for red meat exports, but cautioned that the industry continues to face shipping delays and other logistical challenges.

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