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Agricultural News

Robb Says Beef Exports Levels Show Economic Strength

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:30:27 CDT

Robb Says Beef Exports Levels Show Economic Strength

US beef exports levels provides insight into the state of the global economy. Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb said exports levels paint the picture the US economy is doing well, while other parts of the world aren't as stable.

"Especially Russia is heading toward recession, Europe is in a very weak economic environment and China is weak, as is Japan, so some of these markets have slowed a little bit in terms of US beef export tonnage," Robb said.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays featured Robb on Friday's Beef Buzz. You can listen to the feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

Part of that can be attributed to exchange rates. The value of the US dollar has gone higher. In the latest report from the US Department of Agriculture beef exports on a tonnage basis were down about four percent from August last year. The total value of beef exports was still up from a year ago.

US beef imports were up 46 percent from a year ago in the month of August. Robb said imports are still well below the levels of five or six years ago. This shows the beef that normally goes from Australia into Russia and Europe is coming in the US, as strong beef prices make the US market more attractive.

From a demand perspective, Robb said this shows US protein demand is still very strong, but softer in the export market. US pork exports for the month were down 13 percent and chicken exports were down three percent. Overall Robb is not too concerned about export trends for the US beef industry with lighter volume, but higher value than a year ago. The United States exports very little beef to Europe and Russia, but he is concerned about the indirect impacts because the beef industry is much more dependent of exports, then the US has ever been.

"We do have to watch the world economic environment," Robb said. "Clearly as we look across the global economic profile, the United States of America is leading the way internationally and we have some real softness in some other countries. So we do need to over the next several months and even years we really need to watch these export markets because they are critical to our overall price profile."   

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Jim Robb
right-click to download mp3


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