US Beef on Track to Break Export Records in 2014Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:18:11 CDT
The world appetite for beef continues to grow. Last year was a record breaking year for beef exports and 2014 has the potential to be even better. At the recent Summer Cattle Industry Convention in Denver, US Meat Export Federation President and Chief Executive Officer Phil Seng told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm News Director Ron Hays about the strong start to US beef exports in 2014. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Seng's complete comments.
Seng said for the first five months of this year the US has increased beef exports by nine percent on a volume basis and 17 percent on a value basis
"Right now we are on a pace to probably eclipse six and half million dollars," Seng said. "For a fed steer, basically an animal presented at slaughter, about $245 a head is the export dividend for that, so its significant to the viability of the beef industry and also hopefully it will be an impetus for expansion in the beef industry, something we sorely need and the world sorely needs."
Exports began to grow significantly in 2013 when Japan began importing US beef from cattle 30 months of age and younger. Seng said our exports last year to Japan went up by 56 percent.
In 2014, export growth is being influenced by China as they import beef from all sources. India, the second largest exporter of beef, has exports up 17 percent, Australia is up 17 percent, Brazil exports are up 13 percent and Canada is up nine percent. Seng said we're seeing increasing demand throughout the world, but you're seeing a shrinking world beef supply that is driving exports.
Seng said tightness of supply is presenting some challenges to some of our regular buyers of US beef.
"We're seeing certain markets like Japan, even through they have the highest duty for beef in the world, they are able to procure the product," Seng said. "They are able to buy the product, but we are seeing some of the other markets, the more marginal markets where this does have more of a impact."
Over the last ten years USMEF has worked on developing new cuts, less expensive cuts from underutilized cuts. Because of that work Seng said they are seeing a pretty high increase to nearly all destinations. There are just a few places where exports aren't growing right now. Seng said US beef exports to the middle east are down five percent from a year ago and exports to parts of South America are down, but for the most part exports levels up. That's encouraging considering the record high beef prices buyers are paying today.
Unless there is some unexpected event between now and the end of the year, Seng said 2014 looks like another record breaking year for US beef exports, especially when it comes to overall value.
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