USMEF working to build value for US beef as supply decreases

As the US beef supply shrinks, the US Meat Export Federation is working to increase the value of US beef on the global market.

During the Illinois Beef Association’s Annual Meeting in Springfield on Tuesday, John Herath with USMEF tells Brownfield drought and input prices have caused a decrease in US beef production.

“And so we need to provide financial incentive for that production to come back. If there’s only part of the animal that’s bringing in income, that’s not going to raise the entire value of that animal for when they send it to market. So the more we can broaden the parts of that animal that bring in value, the greater the incentive is for them to bring back production.”

He says US beef exports are still strong and there are opportunities to diversify beef cuts in the export market.

“While in the US beef tongue has virtually no value, it has a tremendous value in a market like Japan, similar to beef liver in Egypt, and the list goes on and on and on. Our key is finding that right cut for that right market to find the best value for it.”

Herath says 2023 US beef and variety meat exports through March were down 8% in volume and 22% in value year over year, but it is important to note that 2023 was a record year for US beef exports. He says they are seeing demand growth in several regions so far this year including Mexico (+16%), Hong Kong (+19%), Philippines (+15%), Caribbean (+21%) and Africa (+84%).

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