Beef Buzz News
Seng Says First-Half Meat Export Numbers Reason for Optimism
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:21:06 CDT
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Phil Seng on U.S. meat exports.
U.S. meat export numbers through June were a mixed bag, but Phil Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, tells Ron Hays that the numbers are actually pretty good when all factors are taken into consideration. (Click here for a report on the first-half numbers.)
“We’re down just a touch on the volume side, but we’re up on the value side and I would suggest by the end of the year we’ll still be up on the value side. Last year we did about five-and-a-half billion dollars worth of exports. I think we’ll be there, a little bit better at the end of this year.
“When you consider the global economy, some of the factors that are out there-the drought and a lot of the macroeconomic issues, I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Seng says demand for U.S. products is growing, and this has kept exporters scrambling to find some way to fill market demand.
“In some areas there is such demand for our product that we have embarked heavily in trying to come up with alternative cuts in some of these markets. I think, obviously, when China gets into buying our products full bore that’s going to reorient things. It’s going to be a sea change as far as some of our product mix. “
He says there has been recent progress in gaining greater access to Japanese markets.
“In May we exceeded over a hundred million dollars worth of exports to Japan. And that’s the first time since before the market closed in 2003. And, so, for the most part, I think we’re encouraged.”
Seng said Japan’s food safety committee could lift barriers to U.S. beef before the end of the year. Japan currently accepts US beef from only animals 20 months of age or younger.
“It’s important the regulatory authorities continue with all haste to move on this. From what we understand from a scientific standpoint, they do not have any concerns about our SRM removal, they didn’t have any concerns about our feed band. They understand the atypical cases of BSE. They understand that BSE is declining dramatically around the world.”
When you look at all the indicators, everything looks very, very positive for us and that’s why I say that hopefully by the fourth quarter of this year, we should be seeing some light when it comes to the Japanese market.
Seng believes that the long anticipated easing of the 20 month rule to a 30 month standard could happen by the of this year.
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