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Beef export value soars in 2018

June 18, 2018
From: The Iowa Beef Industry Council , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Exporting beef produced in Iowa continues to be an important driver for the state's agricultural economy and creating demand for our quality products requires a team effort across the globe.

"The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) invests checkoff funds in the international markets as a way to advance the mission to grow demand for beef internationally.

The partnership with U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) assists in extending our marketing efforts in over 120 countries with multiple buying groups. This just makes good sense for Iowa's beef producers," adds Chris Freland, Executive Director for IBIC.


U.S. beef exports were nine percent ahead of the 2017 pace in volume (318,073 metric tons) and jumped 19 percent in value ($1.92 billion). Exports accounted for 13.2 percent of total first-quarter beef production and 10.7 percent for muscle cuts, up from 12.4 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, last year. Beef export value averaged $315.67 per head of fed slaughter, up 18 percent year-over-year.

Asian Markets

Remain Key

Asian countries continue to be big buyers of U.S. beef. Through the first quarter of this year, export volume to South Korea was up 22 percent from a year ago to 51,909 metric tons, while value was 37 percent ahead of last year's record pace at $366.3 million. Chilled beef exports to Korea accelerated at an even faster rate, increasing 34 percent from a year ago in volume (11,408 metric tons) and 44 percent in value ($107.9 million).

Japan, a market that consistently delivers tremendous value for Iowa's cattle producers, experienced a slight setback in the first quarter mainly due to the frozen beef safeguard triggered last year.

In August 2017, the Japanese frozen beef safeguard mechanism raised the duty charged on imports of frozen U.S. beef from 38.5 to 50 percent through March 2018. With the higher tariff weighing on frozen product, total exports (chilled plus frozen) to Japan dropped three percent to 72,440 metric tons. However, value still increased 8 percent to nearly $460 million.

"We see that as a clear indication of the strong demand for high quality beef in Japan, despite the safeguard," said Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which uses funding from the Beef Checkoff Program, the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and state beef councils to promote U.S. beef around the world.



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