The first six months of 2011, exports of U.S. beef and variety meat exports totaled over $3 billion, a 40% increase over the same time period in 2010 and something that has made beef cattle producers very happy this year.
“It’s looking really good,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president-elect J.D. Alexander of Nebraska during an interview at NAFB Trade Talk. “Our exports today can add about $200 to our individual animal value, and that is huge.”
J.D. notes that the new Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will continue to increase U.S. beef exports. “The other good thing about it is we export a lot of our beef products that really are not used in the United States,” he said. “Some of the things that we don’t utilize in the United States are looked at as delicacies in other countries.”
Even though other markets are growing, J.D. says Mexico and Canada remain the biggest customers for U.S. beef, comprising a third of total exports. “We’ve got great relationships with those countries,” he said.
I also talked with J.D. about the mood of the industry – which he says is very positive – and the efforts of NCBA to keep Washington from over-regulating producers out of business.
Listen to my interview with J.D. here: NCBA president-elect JD AlexanderCoverage of the NAMA Trends in Agriculture & NAFB Convention is sponsored by BASF
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