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U.S. has the upper hand in the Asian meat market

by Ben Nuelle

The U.S. is in a much stronger competitive position with meat exports to Asia than a couple of years ago.

Joel Haggard is senior vice president of Asia Pacific for the United States Meat Export Federation.

Haggard says the U.S. lost share in the global beef market since 2011 but is coming back.

“We’ve seen our competitive position increase in Asia primarily because our main competitor Australia is undergoing its cyclical beef production movement. They’re in the bottom of their cycle. This means their cattle supplies and available beef exports are quite low.”

Haggard says that’s results in higher prices.

“We’ve seen very interesting dynamics at the cut level where some grass-fed Australian beef cuts are selling higher than Australian grain fed cuts.”

Haggard says another trend includes strong beef demand in Asia.

“If you can imagine a restaurant operator in Korea being able to expand his business just due to the fact he’s now got reasonably priced U.S. beef cuts to serve his customers. This is how demand is built in the region. We’re seeing this strong competitive position of the U.S. in Asia help build demand in those regions.”

USMEF had their Strategic Planning Conference in Carlsbad, California last week.