Tag Archives: Beef

Understanding how Angus cattle perform beyond the farm or ranch is an important component of the carcass steer contest hosted during the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS). Forty-two steers were a part of the 2018 NJAS carcass steer contest, where juniors were able to learn firsthand what ranchers are targeting when raising cattle.

This year the NJAS was hosted in Madison, Wisconsin, July 8-13. At the NJAS, many animals were checked-in, exhibited and placed. Among these contests and shows was the Carcass Steer contest. The Carcass Steer contest is unique to the NJAS due to the fact that exhibitors don’t exactly “show” these steers; they send them off for harvest, evaluation and grading following check-in. Within a matter of days, the carcass merit of these steers was reported. The top steers were announced at the NJAS awards ceremony July 12.

“The National Junior Angus Show has an incredible learning opportunity for junior members that participate in the carcass contest,” said Jaclyn Upperman, American Angus Association director of events and education. “Junior members feed and manage the steers to attempt to grade the highest quality carcass they can. This year, the numbers were up. That includes the number of entries, as well as the result numbers. We had 38 percent of the 42 entries graded Prime and 80 percent CAB; this is the best set of carcass steers harvested to date.”

Forty-two entries from 13 states competed in the carcass class at the National Junior Angus Show, confirming that the Angus legacy will continue for generations to come. This contest shows the versatility that Angus cattle have, and how they can be beneficial to any producer.

The top steers’ exhibitors were awarded contest premiums in addition to carcass premiums. In addition to prize money, contestants received carcass data back to influence future selection decisions.

The grand champion carcass steer was exhibited by Alissa Martin, Oregon, Illinois. Her steer graded low-Prime with a yield grade of 2.5. The steer had a 15.1 square inch (sq. in.) ribeye area and had a hot-carcass weight of 826.8 pounds (lb.), which allowed the steer to qualify for the Certified Angus Beef ®(CAB) brand. Martin received a $30.00 per hundredweight (cwt.) grid premium.

Alexis Vandeberghe, Cleveland, North Dakota, was awarded reserve grand champion carcass steer. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.5. The steer had a ribeye area of 14.8 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 817.8 lb. Her steer also qualified for CAB, and Vandeberghe was awarded $30.00 cwt. grid premium.

The grand champion bred-and-owned carcass was owned by Reagan Skow, Palisade, Nebraska. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.7. Her steer had a ribeye area of 12.2 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 799.0 lb. His steer qualified for CAB, and Skow was award $28.00 cwt. grid premium.

Aubrey Herbers, Lynchburg, Virginia, was awarded reserve grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.4. He had a ribeye area of 13.9 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 790.6 lb. Her steer qualified for CAB, and Herbers was awarded $28.00 cwt. grid premium.

State group was another aspect of the contest. Three steers were grouped together by no less than two exhibitors. Continuing their victory, Virginia won the first-place state group. The Virginia team was composed of Aubrey Herbers, Gordon Clark and Suter Clark both of Gretna.

Winning second place in the state group carcass contest was South Dakota. This team consisted of Ty and Chase Mogck, both of Olivet.

U.S. beef exports set a new value record in May while also increasing significantly year-over-year in volume, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). May pork exports were lower than a year ago, though January-May totals for U.S. pork remained ahead of last year’s pace.

Beef export volume was 117,871 metric tons (mt) in May, the sixth-largest on record, valued at a remarkable $722.1 million, which surpassed the previous monthly high (March 2018) by a healthy 4 percent and was 24 percent higher than a year ago. Through the first five months of 2018, beef exports were up 10 percent in volume to 547,157 mt while export value was $3.32 billion, 21 percent above last year’s record pace.

Exports accounted for 13.6 percent of total beef production in May, up from 13 percent a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 11.1 percent, up from 10 percent last year. For January through May, exports accounted for 13.5 percent of total beef production and 10.9 percent for muscle cuts – up from 12.8 percent and 10 percent, respectively, last year.

Beef export value averaged $313.39 per head of fed slaughter in May, up 18 percent from a year ago. The January-May average was $317.69 per head, also up 18 percent.

Following a record performance in April, May pork export volume was 217,209 mt, down 2 percent from a year ago and reflecting smaller exports of variety meats. Export value was $562.5 million, down 3.5 percent. For January through May, pork export volume was still 3 percent ahead of last year’s record pace at 1.08 million mt, while value increased 6 percent to $2.85 billion.

Exports accounted for 27.8 percent of total pork production in May, down from 29.5 percent a year ago, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported fell about one percentage point to 24 percent. For January through May, the percentage of total production exported was slightly below last year at 27.5 percent, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported increased slightly to 23.7 percent.

May pork export value averaged $55.05 per head slaughtered, down 6 percent from a year ago. The January-May per-head average was $55.57, up 2 percent from last year.

Japan, Korea lead the way as global demand for U.S. beef continues to climb

Japan and South Korea continue to be the pacesetters for U.S. beef export growth. In May, export volume to Japan totaled 30,117 mt (up 19 percent from a year ago) valued at $196.8 million (up 22 percent and the highest since August 2017). Through May, exports to Japan were up 4 percent from a year ago in volume at 128,207 mt while value increased 13 percent to $822.9 million. This included a 6 percent increase in chilled beef volume to 61,178 mt, valued at $488 million (up 18 percent).

May exports to Korea were up 46 percent from a year ago in volume (20,781 mt) and jumped 64 percent in value to a record $146.2 million. For January through May, exports to Korea climbed 34 percent to 91,875 mt, valued at $647.3 million – 49 percent above last year’s record pace. Chilled beef exports to Korea totaled 20,365 mt (up 30 percent) valued at $196 million (up 41 percent).

“Despite the intense competition U.S. beef faces in Japan and Korea, these markets continue to display a terrific appetite for a growing range of cuts,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Beef items that are traditionally popular in Asia continue to perform and other items more suitable for thick-cut steaks and barbecue concepts are gaining more traction, resulting in exceptional growth opportunities. But the enthusiasm for U.S. beef extends well beyond these two leading markets, and that’s how exports have reached this record-breaking pace.”

For January through May, other highlights for U.S. beef include:

  • In Mexico, exports were up 4 percent in volume (98,900 mt) and 13 percent higher in value ($427.9 million). Mexico is a critical market for U.S. rounds, shoulder clods and other muscle cuts which are typically undervalued in the U.S. market. It is also the leading destination for U.S. beef variety meat exports, which increased 15 percent from a year ago in value ($98.9 million) despite a 2 percent decline in volume (43,479 mt).
  • Exports to China/Hong Kong increased 20 percent in volume (57,186 mt) and 47 percent in value to $442.2 million. May exports to China were the largest (834 mt) since the market opened in June of last year, pushing the January-May total to 3,133 mt valued at $28.7 million. However, effective July 6, China’s import duty rate on U.S. beef increased from 12 percent to 37 percent. The higher tariff will make it difficult for end-users to profitably utilize U.S. beef, especially with U.S. beef already priced at a premium compared to imports from other suppliers and with Australian beef subject to a duty of just 7.2 percent through the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
  • Coming off a record performance in 2017, beef exports to Taiwan continue to gain momentum. Exports were up 31 percent from a year ago in volume (22,127 mt) and 43 percent higher in value ($209.9 million). Chilled exports increased 39 percent in volume (9,272 mt) and 52 percent in value ($116 million), as U.S. beef captured 74 percent of Taiwan’s chilled beef market.
  • More reliable access to Indonesia has helped bolster beef exports to this promising market, with volume increasing 52 percent from a year ago to 6,247 mt and value nearly doubling to $28.7 million. Due in part to the United States successfully challenging Indonesia’s import restrictions at the World Trade Organization, U.S. beef now faces fewer obstacles and a more consistent regulatory environment. Indonesia’s strong performance and solid growth in the Philippines helped push exports to the ASEAN region 17 percent higher in volume (18,472 mt) and 28 percent higher in value ($102.4 million).
  • Led by strong growth in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, exports to Central America jumped 21 percent in volume (5,436 mt) from a year ago and 22 percent in value ($30.6 million).

Pork exports still ahead of last year’s record pace, but will be tested by higher tariffs

Mexico’s retaliatory duties on U.S. pork took effect in June, so January-May results were not directly impacted. May exports to Mexico increased 3 percent from a year ago in volume (70,589 mt) but slipped 11 percent in value to $115.6 million. Through the first five months of 2018, exports to Mexico were 6 percent above last year’s record volume pace at 353,264 mt, with value up 2 percent to $621 million. On June 5, Mexico imposed a 10 percent duty on fresh/frozen pork muscle cuts from the United States, and the rate increased to 20 percent on July 5. Also in June, Mexico imposed a 15 percent duty on U.S. pork sausages and a 20 percent duty on some prepared hams (these rates did not increase July 5) and opened a duty-free quota aimed at attracting imports from non-U.S. suppliers.

Pork exports to the China/Hong Kong region were well below year-ago levels in May, due in part to the additional 25 percent tariff imposed by China on April 2 (the increase does not apply to product entering Hong Kong). May exports to China/Hong Kong were 34,191 mt, down 31 percent from a year ago, while export value dropped 25 percent to $79.9 million. For January through May, exports to China/Hong Kong were 18 percent below last year’s pace in volume (187,439 mt) and down 6 percent in value to $436.4 million. Exports to China will face an even steeper challenge in the second half of 2018, as China recently hiked the duty rate on U.S. pork by another 25 percent. This means U.S. pork cuts and pork variety meat entering China now face a duty rate of 62 percent, compared to 12 percent for China’s other suppliers, including the European Union, Brazil and Canada.

“It is unfortunate that U.S. pork is caught in the crosshairs of a dispute that has nothing to do with pork trade,” Halstrom said. “USMEF is focusing on the factors we can control by partnering with U.S. packers and exporters to make every effort to defend our market share and protect our business in Mexico and China. USMEF also consistently stresses the importance of diversifying our export markets and expanding U.S. pork’s footprint into emerging markets, and those efforts are more critical than ever.”

January-May highlights for U.S. pork include:

  • As an outstanding destination for U.S. pork for further processing and value-added items destined for the home meal replacement sector, exports to South Korea continue to achieve impressive growth. May exports climbed 44 percent from a year ago in volume (22,447 mt) and 47 percent in value ($64.4 million). For January through May, exports to Korea totaled 117,335 mt (up 44 percent), valued at $340.6 million (up 54 percent).
  • Exports to leading value market Japan were 1 percent below last year in volume (167,294 mt) and steady in value ($689.6 million). This included a 4 percent decrease in chilled pork, with value down slightly at $424 million.
  • Surging demand in Colombia and solid growth in Peru pushed pork exports to South America up 26 percent from a year ago in both volume (50,993 mt) and value ($125.4 million). Argentina officially opened to U.S. pork in April but it has taken some time for exporters to complete various regulatory processes. USMEF is optimistic that shipments to Argentina can begin soon.
  • Exports to Australia and New Zealand were up 8 percent in volume (36,184 mt) and were 11 percent higher in value ($107 million) as the United States has gained market share in Oceania, an increasingly important market for U.S. hams.
  • Led by strong year-over-year growth in Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala, pork exports to Central America climbed 18 percent from a year ago in volume (33,590 mt) and 20 percent in value ($79.7 million). Coming off a record year in 2017, exports to all seven Central American nations achieved double-digit growth in the first five months of 2018.
  • Exports to the Dominican Republic, which were also record-large in 2017, increased 19 percent in both volume (19,102 mt) and value ($42.4 million) through May. For the Caribbean region, exports were up 13 percent in volume to 25,667 mt and 14 percent in value to $60.8 million.
  • With solid growth in the Philippines and Vietnam offsetting lower shipments to Singapore, pork exports to the ASEAN region increased 12 percent in volume (20,630 mt) and 24 percent in value ($57.4 million). Pork variety meat exports to the ASEAN, which are especially important when shipments to China are declining, increased 50 percent in volume (6,827 mt) and 58 percent in value ($12.5 million).

May lamb exports largest since 2015

Exports of U.S. lamb were 998 mt in May, up 57 percent from a year ago and the largest volume since December 2015. Export value was up 10 percent to $1.8 million. For January through May, exports increased 43 percent in volume (4,455 mt) and 15 percent in value ($9.1 million). While much of this growth was driven by larger variety meat exports to Mexico, muscle cut exports increased year-over-year to the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan.

Complete export results for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are available from USMEF’s statistics web page.

DENVER-PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Cooking a delicious, healthy, beef meal from scratch has never been easier with the launch of fresh beef meal kits in retail grocery stores across the country. Developed by American Foods Group in collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., the Steak Bowl meal kits rolled out in select stores in February and have expanded to more than 1,500 stores, including one of the top 5 retailers this year.

The kits create a complete beef meal featuring globally inspired flavors that consumers crave. Eat them as is, or add you family’s favorite vegetables to make it your own. They can be found in the fresh meat department and feature USDA choice beef packaged raw with all of the ingredients needed to make several meal options:

Korean Style Bulgogi Beef Bowl
Steak Burrito Bowl
Steak & Tzatziki Bowl
Steak and Mash Bowl

“We are really excited to see these beef meal kits come to fruition, said Shenoa French, director of Manufacturer Engagement at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff. “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. understands that people want quick, delicious, healthy options and we are happy deliver that in one package that people can be excited to serve to their loved ones.”

Priced between $12.48 and $17.99, each beef meal kit feeds four to six people and offers today’s busy family a hot meal at home in under 30 minutes and only one pan. Not just convenient, beef provides 10 essential nutrients including zinc, iron, protein and b-vitamins, they are a healthy addition to any dinner table. The kits give the retail customer the opportunity to experience a meal kit or new flavor without a subscription.

Consumers continue to demand beef at retail.1 Along with this, the 2018 Power of Meat Study finds that shoppers continue to look for ways to include convenience-focused solutions in their meal lineup.2

The Marketside meal kits are the perfect solution for shoppers looking for a fresh beef option in a quick and convenient package.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) held its eighth annual Latin American Product Showcase June 27-28 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The event drew a record turnout of 190 buyers from 20 countries across the Caribbean, Central America and South America. On the exporter side, 54 USMEF member companies participated. The showcase was conducted with funding support from the National Pork Board (NPB), the Beef Checkoff Program, the Nebraska Beef Council, the Wisconsin Beef Council, the United Soybean Board and the Iowa Soybean Association.

“Having been involved in this event from the outset, it’s remarkable to see how much it has expanded and developed over the past eight years,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “The showcase originated as a way of capitalizing on growing red meat demand and market access gains in Latin America by bringing buyers and sellers together at a single location. In a just a short time it has blossomed into a can’t-miss event that sells out more quickly each and every year, and there is now a waiting list for exhibitors. This has happened for one simple reason – the showcase consistently delivers great results for participants.”

Mark Spengler of Greater Omaha Packing Company, a regular exhibitor at the showcase, emphasized that the quality of the business contacts sets it apart from similar events.

“The quality of the buyers that USMEF brings to this event and exposes to the U.S. supplier trade is really second to none,” Spangler said. “This is one of my favorite USMEF events anywhere in the world – I wouldn’t miss it for anything. And it’s not just a great event for suppliers, it’s also an amazing opportunity from the buyers’ perspective. If they can’t find a supplier here, I’m not sure where they would find one.”

First-time exhibitors also found the showcase to be extremely productive.

“I was really surprised by the magnitude of this event,” said Bob Giertz, international sales representative for Indiana Packers Corporation, a premium pork supplier based in Delphi, Indiana. “There was very strong interest from buyers in a wide range of our pork cuts. It was a great show for us, and we certainly plan to be back.”

Jevon Butler from Nassau, Bahamas, was a first-time participant as a buyer. As sales and marketing manager for Milo Butler Distributors, a family-owned business that supplies supermarkets and other retail outlets in the Bahamas, he found the showcase to be an excellent venue for establishing direct business relationships.

“What this showcase did for me was connect the dots,” Butler said. “Often we deal with a middle man we’re purchasing from, but we never get to meet the packing houses – we don’t get to meet those suppliers. The showcase allowed us to see the entire integration, the whole supply chain, so we could get a better appreciation for how the meat is produced.”

Butler added that while the Bahamas is best known as a tourist destination, the local supermarket customers served by his clients are definitely seeking high-quality meat.

“The reason is that these local residents are working in an environment that’s offering Prime grade and high quality,” Butler explained. “So working around it seven days a week, when they go home they want the same thing. And they are willing to pay for it.”

Representatives of producer organizations that help fund the Latin American Product Showcase received a firsthand look at the business generated at the event. Ivan Rush, a cattle producer from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and a member of the Nebraska Beef Council, said he was pleased to see the personal interaction between buyers and sellers at the showcase.

“People meeting people is very important in international trade, and seeing this level of activity – exporters renewing old acquaintances as well as meeting new customers – it’s very impressive,” Rush said. “We producers certainly depend on exports and we know that they provide a tremendous amount of dollars back in our pockets. So I’m really excited to see a strong future for exports, because that will continue to drive profitability for our operations.”

“The Latin American market is one that the National Pork Board leadership has designated as incredibly important for our international marketing activities,” said John Schwartz, a pig farmer from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. “Having the opportunity to directly engage with nearly 200 leading meat buyers, see how our products are marketed and learn from the influencers in the room has been an invaluable experience.”

Schwartz noted that diversifying international destinations for U.S. pork is increasingly important, and investing in the Latin American region advances that goal.

“With the trade rifts we’re seeing and the recent increases in tariffs, diversifying our export markets is very important and Latin America is a unique market. It’s an accumulation of a lot of smaller countries, but together they present a huge opportunity.”

Randy Spronk, a producer from Edgerton, Minnesota, who serves on the NPB International Marketing Committee and the USMEF Executive Committee, said he appreciates seeing value added to his animals through global marketing efforts such as the showcase.

“I’m really the dirt-under-his-fingernails pig farmer, the guy that actually raises the pigs,” Spronk said. “So it’s great to see so many exporters – the key people that we sell our product to – participating in this showcase. They’re representing me by merchandising my product in a foreign market, and that’s what I think is important to see from a producer’s standpoint.”

Pork and beef industry leaders attending the showcase also had an opportunity to experience the retail market in Santo Domingo. They visited a traditional wet market, where a large percentage of the fresh meat consumed in the Dominican Republic is still sold. The group also toured a La Sirena supermarket where USMEF is currently conducting a World Cup-themed U.S. pork promotion. Their final stop was Meat Depot, a high-end butcher shop, specialty grocery store and restaurant that features U.S. pork and beef.

“One of the real highlights of the tour was to see full bone-in pork loins – exported from the United States and processed here – smoked, sliced and presented in the meat case,” Spronk said. “We’re looking for additional, high-value markets for loins, and I think Latin American can be that type of market for us.”

The Latin American Product Showcase also included educational seminars open to all participants. The opening day program featured Josue Merced-Reyes, president of Inter E Marketing, who presented research and insights on effectively marketing to millennials by developing a better understanding of the factors driving their food choices. On Thursday, Halstrom gave a detailed overview of U.S. pork and beef production trends, noting that ample supplies have eased prices and created additional buying opportunities for businesses in the Latin American region. He added that trade tensions and retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico and China may also open a window of opportunity for buyers in the region as exporters look to further diversify international destinations for their products. Elizabeth Wunderlich, USMEF Caribbean representative, followed with a presentation highlighting U.S. pork, beef and lamb cuts that fit emerging needs within the Latin American region’s foodservice and retail sectors.

Gerardo Rodriquez, USMEF marketing director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, said feedback from both exporters and buyers was overwhelmingly positive, as the Latin American Product Showcase continues to gain momentum as the region’s premier gathering of red meat industry professionals.

“For a packer or trader who wants to meet with buyers from 20 countries across this region, it would take them three or four weeks,” he said. “But here at the showcase they can do it in two days, and that’s really one of the great successes of this event.”

WASHINGTON  – Today National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Government Affairs Danielle Beck issued the following statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that they will hold a public meeting on foods produced using animal cell culture technology:

“NCBA looks forward to participating fully in the public meeting, and will use the opportunity to advocate for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight of lab-grown fake meat products. The Food and Drug Administration’s announcement disregards the authorities granted to USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as well as USDA’s significant scientific expertise and long-standing success in ensuring the safety of all meat and poultry products. Under the current regulatory framework, FDA plays an important role in terms of ensuring the safety of food additives used in meat, poultry, and egg products. All additives are initially evaluated for safety by FDA, but ultimately FSIS maintains primary jurisdiction.”


According to the FDA, the public meeting is intended to provide interested parties and the public with an opportunity to comment on emerging lab-grown protein technology. The public meeting is not a formal decision and will not prevent USDA from asserting primary jurisdiction.

USDA oversight of lab-grown protein products is consistent with existing federal laws. Lab-grown protein products fall within statutory definitions of a meat byproduct. USDA is responsible for ensuring the safety and proper labeling of all such products under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).