USMEF CEO Dan Halstrom Says US Beef Exports on Track for Record Year in 2017, Maybe '18 TooWed, 07 Feb 2018 11:00:41 CST
As we continue to wait for the numbers in the December report to arrive, Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation, is betting that 2017 will be a record year for US beef export value at about $7.3 billion - give or take. He spoke recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about this past year, which he describes as “phenomenal.” Not only is Halstrom pleased with 2017’s performance, he is also excited with the anticipation that growth in our global markets will continue into 2018.
“It was a phenomenal year in Japan last year. We’re up about 20 percent with a lot of growth in a lot of different segments,” he said. “Really, the importance of that is that this has happened despite the fact that we’re at a disadvantage there in the inbound duty.”
Halstrom explained that the US is currently dealing with a duty gap between our main competitor in that market, Australia, which through their involvement in a trade treaty have managed to secure a 27 percent duty on beef imports to Japan while the US has a 38.5 percent duty. This spread will also widen over the years, as Australia’s agreement with Japan includes a gradual decrease of their duty requirements. Beginning April 1st, Australia’s rate will be lowered from 27 to 25.5 percent. However, Halstrom says that despite nearly a 12 percent disadvantage, Japan’s business with the US has grown substantially. Part of that growth comes from new access into China’s marketplace after a 14 year ban on US beef. While volumes to China have started out small, Halstrom says they will continue to grow, slow but steady - and he believes China will eventually become a very important market for the US beef industry.
“It’s been a long time since they’ve had beef coming in on a direct basis,” Halstrom said. “So, we’re doing a lot of work on the educational front and on the exporter side, there’s a lot of due diligence going on. This is the market working. Give it a little bit of time and we’re going to continue to see these volumes increase.”
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