International Meat Congress in Mexico Features Insights from USMEF and Experts from Several Exporting CountriesPublished: Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
USMEF staff interacted with meat industry leaders and key government officials by participating in the ninth edition of the International Meat Congress hosted by the Mexican Cattle Feeders Association (AMEG). The event was held March 21-22 in Mexico City.
USMEF Trade Analyst Jessica Spreitzer addressed attendees about current trends in global beef and pork production and trade. She noted that strong U.S. exports and domestic demand helped support beef and pork prices in 2017, even with production at very high levels. Spreitzer also discussed USMEF’s projections for U.S. red meat exports in 2018, the impact of rising global beef and pork production and changes in consumer preferences, including growing interest in meal kits and other items offering greater convenience and quick preparation.
“The congress covered a broad range of topics of great interest to both the industry participants from Mexico and those from supplying countries,” Spreitzer noted, “including SAGARPA’s proposed beef grading standards, the importance of preserving NAFTA, the talks aimed at modernizing the EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement and Brazil’s efforts to diversify its export markets.”
In addition to Spreitzer’s presentation, the event’s other featured speakers included:
- Juan Carlos Baker, under secretary for foreign trade at Mexico’s Ministry of Economy, discussed Mexico’s desire to strengthen and expand the Pacific Alliance, which currently includes Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. He also emphasized the importance on maintaining duty-free trade between NAFTA partners and provided updates on Mexico’s FTA talks with the EU and efforts to strengthen trade ties with Brazil and Argentina.
- Rogelio Perez, CEO of Mexican Beef, explained the objectives behind Mexico’s beef grading proposals, offered projections and analysis for Mexico’s rapidly growing beef exports and discussed Mexico’s efforts to gain access to the Russian market.
- Leonardo Alenar, business intelligence executive manager for São Paulo-based Minerva Foods, discussed beef production and marketing in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. He also cited regions that the company is targeting for potential sales growth.
- Dr. Robyn Warner, professor of meat science at the University of Melbourne, focused on regional differences in carcass classification, evaluation for economic value and evaluation for consumption.
USMEF staff members Oscar Ferrara, regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, and Alejandra Valdez, technical services manager for USMEF-Mexico, also participated in the International Meat Congress.