The Importance of Exports to Meat Producers

Export markets are huge and vitally important to U.S. Beef, Poultry, and Pork producers. They generate a tremendous amount of revenue that comes back to the meat industry. Randy Blach is CEO of Cattle Fax, a Beef Industry research, analysis and marketing company.

“The U.S. is the largest beef and poultry producer on the planet, the third largest pork producer on the planet. We export seventeen billion pounds of protein on an annual basis.”

Blach says that uncertainty caused by trade issues are a big concern for producers.

“When we have trade disruptions, retaliations, tariffs, all of these kinds of things going on out here, obviously that puts a lot of pressure on our markets. We’ve seen the hog market for example break, it’s nearly been cut in half over the last five months because of all the concern. We export twenty-five percent of all the pork that is produced in this country.”

Those are the kinds of issues that keeps Blach up at night.

“Making sure that we have access to consumers around the world that want to buy our product. And we produce the safest healthiest product anywhere in the world. And that’s how consumers vote. They vote by picking U.S. products because of the safety standards that are around them.”

Blach believes that with a level playing field consumers choose American Beef. Beef exports are expected to be record large in 2018 and 2019.

“We produce a totally different type of product than most of these other countries around the world. Brazil is more of a grass fed product. The U.S. is a grain fed product. Australia does have some grain fed production down there, but again it would be a small percentage of their total. So what consumers around the world like is the grain fed product that’s produced in the United States.”

So how important are exports to cow/calf producers?

“This year we’re going to sell calves for about a dollar sixty-five a pound, based on a five hundred and fifty pound steer calf. Sixty-five dollars a hundred of that total value will be generated out of the export market. Three hundred and sixty dollars a head.”