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Red meat exports remain on record pace despite headwinds

The head of the US Meat Export Federation says the continued record export pace for US beef and pork is impressive despite serious logistical headwinds.

When it comes to container shortages and shipping, USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom says it’s a thorn in the side for the entire global trading market.  “COVID impacts, labor shortages, these aren’t necessarily issues that are confined just to the US port situation,” he says.  “It continues to be a struggle; it continues to be a challenge.  And we know there is significant backlogs of frozen product that has been shipped, and rolled, and still hasn’t shipped that should have by now.”

He tells Brownfield the shipping disruptions in the US are getting more attention – and he’s optimistic conditions will improve.  “I think the purpose and the focus on the government level is to work closely with the Federal Maritime Commission and figure out ways to improve this situation.  It won’t happen overnight.”

Halstrom says the US red meat industry has gone to tremendous lengths to keep shipments moving.  And it shows, as US beef exports topped the $1 billion in value mark for the first time and pork exports rose 20% in value for August to $633.9 million as the US saw record shipments to Mexico.

AUDIO: Dan Halstrom, US Meat Export Federation

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