Domestic Retail Sales Up, Export Markets Look Promising - Good News on All Fronts for Beef SectorWed, 21 Mar 2018 10:19:28 CDT
According to Jim Robb of the Livestock Market Information Center, restaurant and grocery store sales are the main driver at the final segment of the beef chain in terms of demand. He says that during the Recession, restaurants led the way in steady upward trending beef sales. But in recent months, he explained to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that restaurant sales have started to moderate and level off. Meantime, grocery store sales have taken the lead showing four and three percent increases in January and February, respectively so far this year.
“Those are pretty solid numbers,” Robb said. “That’s a growth rate that when combined with the restaurant sales - we end up with about a three percent growth rate in total sales. There’s a lot of competition in the grocery store segment. To have these overall sales continuing to point higher is good news in the broad sense of beef demand.”
Added to that domestic uptick, Robb says one of our most lucrative export markets, Japan, is showing signs that it may be willing to work with the US beef industry despite its recent involvement with its TPP partner nations - which is now being referred to as the Comprehensive Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. Japan’s instituted snapback tariffs, designed to protect its market from large amounts of foreign imports, were triggered last year for US frozen beef. Historically, Japan reevaluates their tariffs on an annual basis, but surprisingly, authorities there have opted to do that now on a quarterly basis. Good news, says Robb, for the US beef industry which he asserts is at a disadvantage compared to its competitors that are included in the CPTPP agreement.
“This is a positive trend and rather good news for the US beef sector,” he said. “We’re at a little bit of a disadvantage to the new trade arrangements that the Japanese have made with New Zealand, Australia and Canada, etc. But, this shows a willingness to work with us.”
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.
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