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Exports Keep Adding Value to the Red Meat Supply Chain

U.S red meat exports continue to post solid numbers. Erin Borror, an economist with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, spoke during the Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas City. She says exports continue adding value to producers’ bottom lines.

“The value story, on the beef side, our exports per head for fed slaughtered so far this year been averaging $476 per head. 49 dollars of that is the variety meats, so your tribe, intestines, tongues, and everything that we don’t consume so much here in the U.S. And on pork, we were averaging $59 per head for every head slaughtered with exports, and $9.52 of that was variety meats on the pig side. To me, the value of exports is all about maximizing the value of every animal we produce, and, as we are in this high-cost environment, we have to have these diversified export markets.”

Looking at the global economy, the strong dollar is having an impact. However, it depends on which export market you’re talking about.

“Then when we look at the economic situation that we’re facing globally, we know the strong dollar is a huge headwind, but these economic impacts vary depending on the market. So, for example, the Mexican peso has been holding quite steady at around 20. We’ve had historic devaluations in the Japanese yen, the Korean won, and the Chinese yuan is back to above seven again, as well. But then you have the Mexican peso holding quite steady.”

Diverse export markets mean more value for beef and pork producers across the country.

“The energy situation, all of this impacts everyone differently. The Middle East is benefiting from the high energy prices and tourism coming back, so we just need to have access to all of these customers around the world, so that we can penetrate the ones willing and able to spend the most on our products, and, not to forget that you and I probably don’t eat that much liver or tongue or stomachs or feet. And so, having these customers, every pound that we’re able to sell of these variety meats, adds dollars across the whole supply chain.”

The Ag Outlook Forum was sponsored by the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City and Agri-Pulse.

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