The importance of market diversification for U.S. red meat exports was a key point of emphasis at the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Spring Conference, which was held in a virtual format May 26-27. USMEF Chair Pat Binger, who heads international sales for Cargill Protein North America, addressed this topic in his opening remarks.
Binger said this foresight is now paying tremendous dividends, as Central America has developed into one of our most reliable destinations for U.S. pork and a promising market for U.S. beef and lamb. He said they are also gradually making progress in South American markets. The Free Trade Agreement there has helped grow exports to Columbia, Chile and Peru.
Day one of the conference also included a meeting of the USMEF Feedgrain and Oilseed Caucus, where members received a spring planting report and grain market outlook. USMEF Korea Director Jihae Yang discussed opportunities for U.S. beef and pork in Korea’s booming e-commerce sector, and Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, provided an update on African swine fever in China and highlighted China’s rapidly growing appetite for U.S. beef.
The second day of the conference featured meetings of the USMEF Beef and Allied Industries Committee and Pork and Allied Industries Committee. Members received updates on U.S. beef marketing activities in China, Africa and the European Union. On the pork side, USMEF staff discussed emerging opportunities in Central America and Southeast Asia and provided an update on the competitive landscape in Japan.
More details from the USMEF Spring Conference are available on the USMEF website.