South Korea’s trade ministry says U.S. beef exports to Korea more than doubled in the first eight-months of the year, versus the same period last year. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association trade chief Greg Doud looks at the global picture….
“If you look at what we’ve done through August and extrapolate that through the end of the year, there is a chance here that we may export in dollars, I don’t know... it will be the case in tonnage, but, in dollars we may export an all-time record amount, actually meeting or exceeding what we did in 2003…pre-BSE.”
Korea reopened its market to most U.S. beef cuts in July 2008.
Exports to Japan are up 26-percent this year…despite Tokyo’s continued 20-month cattle age restriction on U.S. beef.
Doud says U.S. beef has recovered about 40-percent of the Korean market, versus 2-third’s pre-BSE…but adds….
“The Korean economy is doing really, really well, and second of all, you’ve had the down-turn in Australia, in terms what they’ve been able to produce and export in the last 12 months. I think the overall trend is just returning back to normal… Korean consumers understand what US beef is all about, they know US beef, they really, really like it.”
Doud says U.S. exports globally are well ahead of 2009, and could hit a new record this year, on strong demand growth in Asia and Europe, and a weak dollar….
“We’d suggest that we’re going to be right on top of the all-time record amount in dollars in 2003 which is $3.86 billion in exports. We’re not there in terms of volume, comparable to 2003, but in dollars, we are.”
Doud says the industry’s top goals now are resumption of exports to China, and raising Japan’s age restrictions for beef cattle to 30-months. He says the U.S. is still about a billion dollars short of full-market access due to BSE….
“The goal would be in today’s world given our production and access around the world, $5 billion of beef exports is certainly a realistic expectation considering we were at about $3.86 billion in 2003, pre-BSE.”
NCBA Trade Chief Greg Doud.