U.S. Beef Making A Comeback Internationally

US - Meanwhile, U.S. beef exports also had a good year as increased access led to export growth. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports worldwide increased 39 percent in volume to 655,920 mt and 50 percent in value to $2.04 billion in 2006 compared to 2005.
calendar icon 23 February 2007
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“Export volume outpaced our forecast by 3 percent and this growth occurred without market access to Korea, and limited access to Japan,” said Erin Daley, USMEF manager, research and analysis. “Looking at countries with full market access, in other words exclude Korea, Japan Russia and Hong Kong/China, U.S. beef export volumes in 2006 were 16.5 percent higher than 2003, prior to the BSE case.”

Even including Hong Kong/China, export volumes were 9 percent higher in 2006 than 2003 and value increased 24 percent this year from 2003, Daley reports.

For the third consecutive year, Mexico led all markets in volume and value for U.S. beef and beef variety meat in 2006. Volume increased 32 percent to 371,087 mt and value went up 33 percent to $1.17 billion. Sales to Mexico for the year also topped 2003 by 110 percent in volume and 133 percent in value. Strong community marketing efforts along with education on nutrition and new value cuts by USMEF in addition to a strong peso and economy have retained growth in this market.

“They’ve had higher growth rates in Mexico than in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan,” said USMEF President and CEO Phil Seng. “After the first BSE case in the United States in 2003, Mexico was the first major market to reopen to U.S. beef. They’ve been a leader in this regard.”

Beef exports to the Middle East doubled in volume in 2006 compared to 2003 when the market was last open the entire year. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to this region totaled 88,073 mt in volume and $113.6 million in value compared to 40,635 mt and $80.5 million in 2003. The success of U.S. beef livers, kidneys and hearts in this region has contributed greatly, returning profits to the U.S. beef industry on products that are not as popular in the United States.

USMEF has capitalized on this success by expanding the outreach of variety meat to a larger distribution area and to wholesalers. Using restaurant promotions, consumers have been attracted to try U.S. beef livers at family restaurants and from street vendors. In addition, a widespread media campaign featuring recipes and cooking suggestions for U.S. beef muscle cuts have been featured in many popular food and home magazines throughout the region.

The USMEF “We Care” campaign in Japan has contributed to restored consumer and trader confidence in U.S. beef since it returned to the country in early August 2006. In those four months, the United States exported 13,736 mt valued at $66.5 million to Japan. USMEF reports increasing demand from retailers and foodservice outlets, indicating consumers are gradually returning to the taste and quality U.S. beef offers.

The “We Care” campaign provides a consistent message to consumers and traders through different activities like newspaper advertisements, beef bowl restaurant promotions, information seminars and community events to demonstrate the sincerity of the U.S. beef industry in providing a safe and consistent product.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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