2018 was a great year for U.S. Beef Exports. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom said while November and December numbers are not available, thanks to the Government shutdown, $8.5 billion was shipped overseas. Which he said was by far a record.
“This is really a testament to the quality and the safety of U.S. production systems in our beef products, vis a vis the competition around the world. Virtually every major market saw grow in 2018, there were a few exceptions but generally the trend lines, are very, very positive.”
So, what drove the increase in beef exports? Halstrom told those at the NCBA Convention, an increase in disposable incomes, a growing middle class as well as declining number of countries that are self-sufficient.
“Oh course the big thing is our special taste being grain fed. Most of what we compete against is grass fed, not exclusively, Australia and some others have grain fed as well, but we’re long fed and a lot of them are short fed, so we have a lot of adherent advantages, not the least of which is our reputation for safety.”
But Halstrom was quick to point out that a trade agreement with Japan is sorely needed, an USMCA is ratified by Congress.
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