One of the biggest logistical challenges facing the United States as a meat exporter is the lack of access to vessels that can reliably ship its products. These restrictions hamper the country’s ability to ship chilled products to key Asian markets.

“The logistics situation is critical,” Erin Boller, economist for the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF), said in a speech at the Ag Outlook forum on Sept. 26. and hosted by the Kansas City Agribusiness Council.

Borror said the U.S.typically has a significant competitive advantage over other countries when shipping chilled meat to Asia because of the shorter delivery times to Asian markets. However, due to current logistical constraints, that advantage is no longer as strong, she said.

“It hurts when your ship doesn’t leave on time,” Boller said. “And if the importer has to freeze that product, it costs a lot of money, so seeing retail customers looking for more frozen [meat] has cut the premium somewhat.”

Borror also spoke about the current pork market and highlighted the ongoing African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in other parts of the world. The U.S. exported large amounts of pork to China in the early stages of the outbreak, but has since slowed.

The United States had more opportunities as a result of her ASF incidents in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She also said the Mexican market “actually offset the post-China economic slowdown.”

But the biggest opportunity for U.S. pork exports may come to Europe.

She said European pork production is currently down 4% and the European Commission is actually forecasting a 5% annual decline,production has fallen even more significantly.

“Europe not only has the ASF limit,which is a big part of it, but it also has a regulatory burden, which is causing a double decline in German production,” she said.

Source: Wattagnet

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