Source: Oklahoma Farm Report
Delayed by the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture just last week released the November 2018 beef export numbers compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The report indicates that US beef exports for 2018 have already surpassed the previous record set in 2017 of $7.27 billion worth of product sold, at $7.63 billion between January and November 2018. In a recent conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstromsaid the December numbers will soon be released and when they are, we will all see how remarkable 2018 was for the beef export business.
“If you were to look six or seven months ago… no one would have estimated it would have turned out as well as it is. We’re forecasting we’ll be at all of $8.5 billion in global exports of beef and beef variety meats in 2018 which will by far be a new record,” he said. “But, I think the thing that’s interesting about it is – it’s really broad-based.”
Halstrom explains that no one area of the world is solely responsible for the significant growth that is being observed in the global beef market. Rather, he says, developed and developing nations alike are seeing increases in their beef per capita consumption. Though this can be said about countries around the world like Singapore and Japan – which continues to present incredible growth opportunity for the U.S. despite concerns of increased competition in that market due to the Trans-Pacific Partnership coming into effect – and entire regions such as Central and South America; Halstrom says South Korea has really been the shining star.
“I think what you are seeing there is a combination of increased beef per capita consumption, declining self-sufficiency and a free trade agreement that works well,” Halstrom remarked. “Add it all up, it makes for a growth of 45 percent. It’s really a testament to the work of the beef checkoff dollars, US government dollars and a team effort from the industry to really reassure the Korean consumer of the safety and more importantly, the taste of US beef.”