The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) conducted a media conference call this morning from the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Carlsbad, California. The call was held as USMEF looks forward to celebrating its 40th Anniversary, and featured opening remarks from Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, Joel Haggard, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, and Chad Russell, regional director, Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Seng discussed the opportunities available to the U.S. as meat production continues to increase, and remained optimistic about these upcoming opportunities for U.S. red meat exports.
“I think the issue at hand right now is what we are calling the tsunami of meat that we’re seeing in the United States,” he said. “I think that, from an export standpoint, we were able to maintain our share of exports, so we are still looking at this as an opportunity.”
Next up to speak was Haggard, who also expressed optimism about the ways that Asia’s strong beef demand has created a strong competitive position for U.S. beef exports.
“The U.S. is in a much stronger competitive position in Asia compared to a few years ago when the U.S. lost some share in the global beef market, and despite the U.S. dollar still being high, which remains a headwind to us, we’ve seen our competitive position increase in Asia,” said Haggard.
Russell dove into the logistics of the Mexican and Central American beef markets, which he believes will begin to rise as beef prices continue to lower.
“Beef consumption in Mexico has been down ever since the financial crisis of 2008, primarily because of the high cost of beef and the exchange rate, but the near term looks very positive because, between the Mexican beef industry experience drought problems and the increased exporting of feeder cattle to the United States, Mexico has fewer cows,” he said. “The long and short of it is that Mexico is a beef-centric consuming nation, and once those beef prices come down to more traditional, historic price levels, we believe that there is a demand that will be met by US beef.”
Listen to the full conference here:
USMEF Strategic Planning Conference