Record shattering U.S. beef exports, which topped $10 billion over the past year, were a hot topic of discussion and a great source of optimism at the Cattle Industry Convention in Houston last week. CEO of Birko Corporation and the current chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Mark Swanson says expanding U.S. beef exports is important to the entire supply chain, and surging global demand for U.S. beef helped set a positive tone for the convention.
"One of the benefits of coming off a year where we've had the top three markets, Japan, South Korea and China, all reach that $2 billion plus threshold, which is the first time in our history, that's created a sense of optimism throughout the entire convention," Swanson says. "Everybody along the supply chain has benefited from those increased exports and those increased dollars flowing back through the supply chain. Exports are definitely a unifying interest. When you have 15% of your total beef production being exported, the sense of optimism and the value that it's bringing back to the entire supply chain has really, really grown the overall visibility of exports and the need to have more exports."
Nebraska rancher Steve Hanson, who serves as USMEF secretary-treasurer, notes that U.S. beef export value equated to about $400 per head of fed slaughter in 2021, with export growth extending beyond major Asian destinations such as Japan, South Korea and China/Hong Kong.
"The per head value of $400, it's an amazing number, and it really adds to the bottom line of either the cow- calf guy or the feedlot guy, but it's in there in the value of the animal and we are very proud of that," says Hanson. "We are expanding across not only in Asia where China, South Korea and Japan are huge customers over $2 billion a year now, but also in the rest of the world. We're starting to get into Central and South America, Africa. We're gaining insights there. We've got new markets in there. It's a very positive story that we've got to tell and it's a pleasure to tell it."
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.