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Agricultural News

U.S. Under Pressure of Slumping Global Beef Demand in 2015

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:26:47 CST

U.S. Under Pressure of Slumping Global Beef Demand in 2015

Year-end export numbers for 2015 have been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). December U.S. beef exports totaled over 94,000 mt, off six percent from a year ago and slightly lower than November. Export value fell 21 percent compared to a year ago. For 2015, beef exports were down 11 percent from a year ago in volume to 1.07 million mt. Export value was $6.3 billion, 12 percent below the 2014 record of $7.14 billion. USMEF President and CEO Phil Seng said thereís no question 2015 was a very challenging year for U.S. beef exports. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with him at the recent Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to this Beef Buzz feature.

One of the bright spots for beef exports was the South Korean market. Seng credits the Korean Free Trade agreement that was put together four years ago. The U.S. now has a duty advantage over its competitors in that market. U.S beef exports to South Korea were up seven percent and that comes at a time with a limited supply of cattle and a strong U.S. dollar.

U.S. beef exports also showed support from the North American Free Trade Agreement countries. Seng said exports in 2015 to the NAFTA neighbors were slightly lower, but still showed consistency from year to year. He was thankful thereís nothing else impeding exports, because these two countries account for about 40 percent of the nationís beef exports. In December, repeal of the nationís mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) was signed into law by President Obama. That kept the U.S. from $1.01 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation. Seng said repeal of COOL also helped the relationship between the three countries and will help build trust longer term.

Vietnam and Singapore also showed export sales growth. Seng said USMEF sees Vietnam as a growing economy with over 90 million people that appreciate high quality beef.

Beef exports had a tough year in 2015. Seng said the cattle industry canít look backwards and should look forward to markets like Canada and Mexico. There are also other opportunities ahead around the world.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Seng on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

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 USMEF President and CEO Phil Seng
right-click to download mp3


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