Australia's Recovering Beef Industry Poses a Threat as US Continues to Grow Its Asian Market ShareThu, 08 Feb 2018 11:58:18 CST
Probably some of the best news to come out of 2017 for the beef industry, according to US Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom, was China’s reopening of its marketplace to US beef products after a 14-year ban. He told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays in a recent interview that while that is great news for producers, the bad news is all the restrictive protocols dictated by the Chinese that must be in place in order to export to their markets - which makes things difficult on the producer.
“It’s non-hormone treated, it’s beta-agonist free, there’s a traceability component. But, I think honestly, it’s a good deal in the sense that we’ve started getting US beef back in there and the reception has been phenomenal,” he said. “We’ll give it a little time with the hopes that someday we can normalize these requirements a bit more, that’s definitely the long-term goal.”
China, though, is only one aspect of the growing Asian marketplace. Halstrom reports that there has been a lot of success for the US this past year in the Asia Pacific Rim, most notably with growth in Japan despite recently imposed tariffs and a duty disadvantage. Halstrom also says it was a homerun year for exports to South Korea which had a major retailer, Costco, opt to switch all its chilled beef product business from Australia to the US. This has spurred Korea’s largest retailer, E-Mart’s interest in US beef again which may strengthen their commitment to purchasing from the US. However, Halstrom cautions that with Australia coming back online after suffering from severe drought that forced large liquidations in its beef herd, the US’s Asian interests could be at risk of increased competition.
“We’re going to start to see that rebuilding herd hitting the marketplace in 2018, so we’re really trying to get more aggressive knowing we’re going to have more supply competing against us in Australia,” Halstrom said. “We need to be ready to hit them head on so that’s what we’re focusing on this year.”
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