At the Latin American Product Showcase, more than 60 USMEF exporting member companies participated, displaying and promoting U.S. beef, pork and lamb products. The event attracted more than 190 buyers from 23 countries.
USMEF opened its annual conference with a status report on the current state of U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports, followed by a discussion of trade policy issues shaping the outlook for exports in 2019 and beyond.
January exports of U.S. beef and pork were slightly below last year’s volume levels while export value posted mixed results, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
While China has seen some decline in consumer demand for pork, this is likely temporary, given that pork is such a longstanding and important staple of the Chinese diet. Does that leave opportunity for the U.S.?
U.S. meat production faced challenges in April and May as packing plants implemented worker safety measures for COVID-19, causing concern about available supplies. But production has rebounded in recent weeks.
While the COVD-19 pandemic hasn't slowed international consumers' enthusiasm for U.S. pork and beef, it has altered their buying behavior and changed the way the U.S. meat industry communicates with consumers.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has updated its Export Library for China to reflect expanded access for U.S. beef and pork. These changes were negotiated in the U.S.-China "Phase One" trade agreement.
Led by South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Latin America markets, July beef exports climbed 12% in volume to 116,575 mt, valued at $722 million – up 16% from a year ago and just slightly below the May 2018 record.
German Navarrete, a USMEF corporate chef based in Mexico, recently developed a U.S. meat cutting demonstration utilizing virtual reality technology that uses 360-degree video images representing various meat cuts.