2018 beef exports set record, pork falls short in second half of the year
Despite trade wars and retaliatory tariffs, exports of US beef and pork ended 2018 at record and near record levels.
CEO of the US Meat Export Federation Dan Halstrom says it was a tremendous year for US beef. “Coming in at about $8.3 billion in value for global trade for beef,” he says. “There were a lot of different markets setting records there – Taiwan, Korea, etc.” Despite retaliatory tariffs on US pork, exports were the second highest in volume behind 2017 and third highest in value.
Halstrom tells Brownfield the supply and demand dynamics of the global market favor strong exports – especially for pork. “A lot of these countries are seeing per capita consumption of pork grow,” he says. “And the ability to supply it domestically in these key countries like Japan and Korea they aren’t able to do it. There is a minimal ability to increase domestic production. So they’ve become more reliant on imports than ever.”
He says the rest of the world has also figured that out and it highlights the necessity of free trade agreements to keep the US competitive in the global market.
AUDIO: Dan Halstrom, USMEF