In the immediate aftermath of Japan’s earthquake/tsunami disaster, many observers speculated that U.S. meat exports to Japan would decline significantly. But as U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng explains, the vast majority of Japan’s population has not been displaced, and their long-term demand for U.S. beef and pork should not be adversely affected. He goes on to explain that the region impacted by the tsunami represents a fairly significant portion of Japan’s domestic livestock production, which could result in an increased need for imported meat.
With these factors in mind, USMEF is maintaining its original 2011 beef and pork export forecasts to Japan. The beef export forecast calls for 153,000 metric tons valued at $790 million – an increase of 23 percent over last year. On the pork side, the forecast remains at 447,000 metric tons valued at $1.7 billion – a 3 percent increase over 2010.
Seng also discusses a disaster relief effort that USMEF is coordinating on behalf of the U.S. meat industry. All donations will be directed to charities that will help displaced Japanese families in need. For more information about this effort, please visit www.usmef.org.