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Audio: Importance of Chilled Beef Exports Highlighted at Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting

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At the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting – held July 12-14 in Denver – producers serving on the beef checkoff’s Export Growth Committee heard from members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) staff regarding global trends in beef production and consumption, the positive impact of exports on carcass value and ongoing efforts to expand market access for U.S. beef.

Committee members also reviewed year-to-date export results for U.S. beef, which USMEF Economist Erin Borror explains have been bolstered by an exceptional performance for chilled U.S. beef in key Asian markets. Borror notes that the United States now holds more than 50 percent of the chilled beef import market in Japan and South Korea, and more than 70 percent in Taiwan.

Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president for marketing, adds that chilled exports are especially important to the U.S. beef industry because they represent a consistent, 52-weeks-per-year business. Exporting chilled product also allows USMEF to better showcase the flavor and tenderness of U.S. beef for customers in Asia.

TRANSCRIPT:

Joe Schuele: The strong performance of U.S. beef exports were the main topic of discussion at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver. IN this U.S. Meat Export Federation report, USMEF Economist Erin Borror explains that chilled beef exports to key Asian markets are a primary factor in this year’s growth.

Erin Borror: So what’s driving this? Chilled U.S. beef. Your high-quality beef is what’s driving this. We’re growing market share, but we’re also growing consumption. This is all underpinned by the availability of U.S. beef, of course, we’re producing more. Consumer confidence, rebuilding that confidence after BSE, especially in places like Korea, where it’s not been easy, and end-user success. So telling our customers ‘how can U.S. beef be profitable for you.’ These are all key factors driving success in main markets. This is our chilled market share, specifically, over 50 percent in Japan and Korea. Their chilled beef imports come from the U.S. And we ship more chilled beef to Japan than frozen. Taiwan we’re over 70 percent. Part of the way we’re driving growth in market share is we’re competing on a wider range of cuts. We are displaying some of these end cuts that Australians supply, we’re actually competitive on those, and we’re teaching them how to utilize these block cuts.

Joe Schuele: Dan Halstom, senior vice president for marketing, explains some of the advantages of chilled beef exports.

Dan Halstrom: The importance of chilled is it tends to be a 52 weeks a year business, so if you buy frozen, you can buy when the price is low and not buy when the price is high. But with chilled you are buying every week. The customers are importing it every week. The other obvious advantage of chilled is when you freeze something and thaw it – and the meat scientists in the room will tell you – that you start to break those cells down you have more cooking loss, less juiciness, less tenderness. But when it’s chilled, you’re holding it at 30 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit all the way from the packing plant to the customer in Korea or Japan. So chilled is the goal here in the Asian markets and it’s working well.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.