Korean, Japanese Markets Continue to Grow for U.S. Meat ExportersTue, 21 Aug 2012 14:49:57 CDT
Two southeast Asian countries are turning out to be very good customers for U.S. meat exports says Phil Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Seng recently spoke with Ron Hays at the Summer Cattle Industry Conference in Denver.
“In Korea right now they’re very concerned about food inflation. We’re just seeing today that as far as wheat and as far as beans they’ve gone down to zero duties in that regard.
“We did very well last year in Korea because, number one, they had this terrible effect from foot and mouth disease. It really affected their pork herd. They lost over 30 percent of their pork herd, so they were really short of protein, period. So we ramped up very heavily in Korea both from the beef and the pork side. But the numbers are down a little bit this year because we did so well last year.”
“But that market still is a growth market. We deal with a lot of people in the trade there. They want our product, so we see the Korean market on the ascent as far as our exports. We’re doing very well in Korea.”
(Click here for a report card on how U.S. meat exports fared during the first half of 2012.)
Seng said the single BSE case reported in America earlier this year had some impact overseas.
“Japan, the day after this came out, they announced that there’s nothing to worry about, that they understood the science behind this, and there wasn’t a glitch in our exports to Japan.
“Korea, on the other hand, because of the volatility of the opening of the market and 100,000 people out in the street for 100 days, there was a lot of publicity, a lot of negative publicity about our product and that was more sensitive. So, they went on to 100 percent testing of our product, but that’s all been rescinded at this time.
“Korea and Japan, when you talk about both markets, they both like high-quality beef. They both like grain-fed products, so we’re just glad we’re getting back to normal.”
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