Thu, 03 Nov 2022 09:35:51 CDT
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is featuring comments from the president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Dan Halstrom, about August beef export numbers in 2022.
Halstrom said that overall, August was another remarkable billion-dollar month full of broad-based growth.
“Of course, China continues to be strong, but we had other markets stepping up,” Halstrom said. “You look at some of the ASEAN regions like Vietnam, and the Philippines, and you’ve got the Americas- Central and South America. Colombia, in particular, stands out. We had a pretty solid month out of Korea as well, so broad-based growth continues to be the theme.”
Compared to the places such as the Middle East and Central America, where tourism and hotel activity is not back to normal, Halstrom said he would argue that the Caribbean is 100 percent back to normal.
“In a place like the Caribbean, beef really is the center of the plate, and we are seeing that in the result,” Halstrom said. “So, we expected that. We are seeing it. That is really a bright spot.”
The area of the world that is lagging, Halstrom said, continues to be Asia.
“Japan and Korea are still two of our largest markets, but the growth is not there, and we are down slightly in Japan,” Halstrom said.
Japan is behind, Halstrom said, because they are just coming out of the COVID lockdowns as of the end of April, so restaurants are not back to normal, masks are in place, and people are not out in force.
“It takes time to come back,” Halstrom said.
The strong U.S. dollar, Halstrom said, is another issue.
“You’ve got, a Yen devalued 30-35 percent in the last 6 months, which makes our products more expensive,” Halstrom said.
Some of the other competitor currencies have devalued as well, Halstrom said.
“It is really a question about spending power,” Halstrom said. “There are a few headwinds here, but I do think in the end, Japan and Korea will come back. There will be an uptake on food service, and we haven’t seen that impact yet, so that bodes well going forward to the end of this year and into early next year.”
Despite multiple headwinds, Halstrom said he is cautiously optimistic that beef demand will remain strong. Parts of the world, Halstrom said, are continuing to see growth in the face of inflation.
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