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NCBA: Opportunities For US Beef Exports

04 February 2011

US - Access into markets is still a major challenge for US beef exports, Keith Miller, Chairman of the US Meat Export Federation told Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite Editor. However they also present huge oppportunities.

"The three main opportunities I see for US beef exports at the moment include Russia, China and Japan," said Mr Miller.

Out of these Japan is probably the biggest challenge he continued to say. At the moment beef imported into Japan is less than 20 months of age. USMEF are currently working to increase this to beef from cattle below 30 months of age.

BSE concerns are the reason for this age limit.

"Despite only ever being two confirmed cases of BSE in the US, they have had a disastrous effect on US beef export markets," Mr Miller said.

"Food safety is a huge concern for Chinese and Japanese consumers, which is what USMEF is working to overcome through promotions in these countries."

Promotions include cooking and cutting demonstrations to gain trust from Chinese and Japanese consumers, and showing them that US beef is a safe, quality product.

The low dollar is helping US beef products become more competitive in these markets, and Mr Miller hopes that when the dollar does go up, US beef will continue to be successful through a dedicated consumer base.

Discussing competition from Australia and Brazil, Mr Miller said that the US had a large advantage due to the quantity of grain fed beef produced - and grain fed, well marbled and tender beef is what these markets are demanding, he said.

As well as these Asian markets, drought in Russia has had a huge effect on their agricultural industry, and has left a massive opportunity for US beef exports, he said.

2010 was an exceptional year for US beef exports and Mr Miller expects the success to continue in 2011.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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