Industry At A Glance: Beef Export Values

Nevil Speer

December 17, 2012

1 Min Read
Industry At A Glance: Beef Export Values

Beef exports are a significant and growing component of the U.S. beef complex, as the graphic above depicts. Exports also have been a major topic of discussion for the beef sector in recent days following Russia’s announcement that all imported products must be certified free of ractopamine. The National Pork Producers Council points out that USDA doesn’t have a testing and certification program in place to detect ractopamine residues in pork or beef because the feed additive has been approved by FDA as a safe product. Ractopamine improves the feed efficiency, growth rate and lean carcass percentage of live hogs and cattle.

Russia’s announcement is important on several fronts. First, it reveals a potential liability for the beef industry around its use of beta-agonists, both internationally and domestically. Second, it also underscores the importance (and fragility) of international trade across all fronts for the beef industry. Clearly, exports represent an important source of revenue for beef producers.

As such, what’s the appropriate response from the beef industry regarding this matter? And what lessons were learned, if any, from the 20-year battle with the European Union over the use of growth implants in U.S. beef production? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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