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Agricultural News

Despite Record Beef Prices, USMEF Says Int'l Demand Remains

Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:46:19 CST

Despite Record Beef Prices, USMEF Says Int'l Demand Remains

Americans love their steaks and hamburgers, but that leaves a lot of beef on the counter. The US Meat Export Federation Assistant Vice President International Marketing & Programs Greg Hanes said while there is strong demand for steaks and hamburger domestically, their job is to promote the under utilized cuts abroad.

"All these other cuts really are big items here in the US, but if you look at the different cooking styles and the way they prepare products overseas, especially in Asia," Hanes said. "The cuts that they utilize and really have a high demand for are totally different. Those are things like the hanging tenders, inside skirts, tongues, variety meats, things like that."

In the US those items would likely be put into trim for a dollar up to couple dollars a pound. Hanes said these same items can be exported overseas and get two, three, or four times as much. For example beef tongue sells for $1.50 a pound in the US. Hanes said if you look at the international markets we selling it for $6 - $7 a pound.

"That significant for every cattle producer here," Hanes said. "That's adding $300, which as you know especially in difficult times that can be difference between make and break. Now in the market that's just extra gravy on top of what we are able to do now."

USMEF based in Denver, Colorado has been working for the past 38 years developing relationships and market outlets around the world. Their goal is to bring the most value back to the America's beef, pork and lamb producers in exporting product around the world. Hanes said their role is to work with the entire industry to increase US meat product sales overseas.

"Especially the product that has lower value here, we try to export those items that are really high demand cuts overseas and bring that (value) to the producers here," Hanes said.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently caught up with Hanes in Stillwater after he briefed the Oklahoma Beef Council board about the export situation and outlook for beef. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the below Beef Buzz feature.

The US continues to deal with tight supplies, so USMEF has less product to make and sell into the international market. Hanes said the limited beef supply it has been a challenge this year.

"Prices are higher because of this, but the good thing that we are seeing is that even despite the higher prices and tight supplies, the foreign buyers the demand is there," Hanes said. "We are working with them and they are continuing to buy. Last year was a record year value wise. We exported almost 6.2 billion dollars. Our original forecast for this year about 6.5 but what we are seeing so far through August again is that we are up about 13 percent. So we could end up the year even closer to 6.8 billion dollars if we continue on at that pace. So again even with the higher prices and the higher value that international demand is out there."

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 Greg Hanes of USMEF
right-click to download mp3


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