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Beef Buzz News


West Coast Port Labor Agreement Welcomed by Asian Meat Buyers

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:00:35 CST

 West Coast Port Labor Agreement Welcomed by Asian Meat Buyers Seven billion dollars’ worth of beef exports in 2014. The U.S. beef export value averaged a record $300 per head in calendar year 2014. With those kind of values, the U.S. cattle industry is very interested when something is impacting beef exports and the west coast dock slow down caused millions of dollars of losses on a weekly basis. With a settlement announced last weekend, it looks things will be getting back on track fairly soon, as far as beef exports and other shipments of other U.S. meat related products.


U.S. Meat Export Federation Senior VP for the Asian-Pacific region Joel Haggard said the deal is being enthusiastically welcomed by Asian meat buyers.


“Especially those in Japan and Korea, where the volumes are significant,” Haggard said. “In 2014, the US exported approximately $2 billion dollars of beef and pork in chilled form to Asia."


The chilled pork trade alone is worth approximately $1 billion per year. On average about 1,000 containers of chilled pork being shipped to Japan monthly. If there is a delay in shipping product, Haggard said chilled product can be frozen down as it crosses the Pacific Ocean. That is not a desirable option, due to price discount for frozen product versus the chilled product. Product can also be shipped by air, but that is a very expensive option. During the labor dispute, Haggard said air shipments to Japan and Korea did increase.


Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Haggard on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.


Shipping delays create the most headaches and most heart burn for those involved in shipping chilled beef and pork into the Pacific rim markets. At the same time, those that were choosing frozen product also experienced some real problems during the massive slowdown.


“Chilled beef and pork are the most sensitive to any shipping delays,” Haggard said. “But importers of frozen product, like that for chilled, depend on sales to generate profits but also working capital to purchase more product and the lack of product flows meant squeezed cash flows for many importers of U.S. product in Asia. To the extent that squeeze will now be ameliorated with more predictable arrival times, the end of the west coast port action will be welcomed by all.”


Dollar losses from the labor dispute continue to be calculated day by day, but so were the intangible losses that the U.S. meat industry was facing because of this labor dispute now resolved on the west coast.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
   
   

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Joel Haggard of USMEF
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