Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the president and CEO of the United States Meat Export Federation, Dan Halstrom, talking about the latest on U.S. beef export numbers.
“The September numbers just came out, and we were down a little bit on beef, but still, a 900-million-dollar month, which it wasn’t too long ago, that was a record month,” Halstrom said.
Despite being down a bit, Halstrom said broad-based growth was seen in specific markets.
“We had a really good month in the ASEAN region with the Philippines and Vietnam numbers up pretty big,” Halstrom said. “The Caribbean continues to perform at a record pace.”
Some larger markets, such as Korea, were down slightly, Halstrom said, but still had a very good month. Mexico, he added, was about even with a year ago.
“China continues to be up, off of very big numbers from a year ago,” Halstrom said.
There are still many reasons to be positive, Halstrom said, but some headwinds are starting to catch up, such as global inflation and pricing in general.
“It kind of makes you wonder a little bit about the spending power in some of these countries, but nevertheless, still pretty positive overall,” Halstrom said.
International logistics issues such as availability of containers and shipments being on time, Halstrom said, have improved but are not back to normal.
“You still have a lot of instances of late and delayed shipments,” Halstrom said. “Not as bad as it was, but still, we were one of the premier service providers in the world as far as cargo is concerned, and while it is getting better, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area.”
In two of the largest markets in the U.S, Korea, and Japan, Halstrom said an extremely strong U.S. dollar combined with inflation is slowing down some demand. The demand is still good, he added, but it is down slightly.
“It is not just the U.S. that is dealing with a strong U.S. dollar,” Halstrom said.
Halstrom said that many competitor nations, supply-wise, such as Brazil and Australia, have stronger currencies against main destinations.
“I am worried about global spending power no matter who is consuming because prices everywhere are higher,” Halstrom said.
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