Strong first-half beef exports to Russia | TSLN.com

Strong first-half beef exports to Russia

USMEF

USMEFLeaders of the Cattlemen's Beef Board tour a cattle operation in Russia. Members of the group include CBB Chairman Dave Bateman (far right), Secretary-Treasurer Dan Dierschke (far left), and CEO Tom Ramey (second from left). Also pictured is John Brook (center) USMEF regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

As export results for the first half of 2008 clearly indicate, Russia is emerging as one of the top destinations for U.S. beef. Closed to U.S. beef from late 2003 through almost all of 2007, Russia has quickly become the third-largest destination for U.S. beef variety meats and the seventh-largest market for overall exports of U.S. beef.

Beef exports to Russia in the first half of the year totaled 11,194 metric tons (24.7 million pounds). Outstanding sales of about 6,800 metric tons (nearly 15 million pounds) suggest the volume of beef exports will remain strong in the coming months as well.

This strong performance confirms many positive market factors found by U.S. beef industry leaders who traveled to Russia and selected European Union nations earlier this summer, accompanied by senior staff members from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Lucinda Williams, a beef producer from Hatfield, MA, who serves as vice chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, was one of the participants.

“We found that Russia has excellent growth potential for U.S. beef,” Williams said. “There is growing beef consumption and demand, with declining production. That’s a perfect setup for us.”

She said astonishing growth is occurring throughout Russia’s food industry channels, and the U.S. beef industry’s diverse marketing efforts are paying off.

“With USMEF’s help, our beef checkoff dollars are making a real difference in Russia today,” she said. “We’re training everyone in Russia – from raw material buyers to processors, to restaurant managers and chefs – about the attributes of U.S. beef.”

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Williams noted that Russia’s restaurant sector is experiencing particularly rapid growth, and is in constant need of more chefs. This has created an excellent training opportunity for USMEF, helping familiarize young chefs with creative and innovative dishes featuring U.S. beef.

Though Russia’s surging demand for high-quality beef cuts is a welcome addition for the U.S. beef industry, Russia remains a critical market for cuts that are underutilized in the domestic market. Once the top export market for U.S. beef liver, Russia is once again making an impact on liver demand and, in turn, carcass value. As Russian importers have begun bidding against their counterparts in Egypt for a limited supply of U.S. beef livers, liver prices have more than tripled when compared to last year. For U.S. cattle producers, this has added roughly $7 per head.

Russia’s appetite for processed meats is also helping U.S. producers derive additional value. According to John Brook, USMEF’s regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East, unexpectedly large sales of round cuts are being utilized in this sector.

“USMEF’s objective is to transform this business – which is currently a price opportunity due in part to the exchange rate – into a more sustainable, recurring business opportunity based on product satisfaction and buyer loyalty,” Brook said.

As export results for the first half of 2008 clearly indicate, Russia is emerging as one of the top destinations for U.S. beef. Closed to U.S. beef from late 2003 through almost all of 2007, Russia has quickly become the third-largest destination for U.S. beef variety meats and the seventh-largest market for overall exports of U.S. beef.

Beef exports to Russia in the first half of the year totaled 11,194 metric tons (24.7 million pounds). Outstanding sales of about 6,800 metric tons (nearly 15 million pounds) suggest the volume of beef exports will remain strong in the coming months as well.

This strong performance confirms many positive market factors found by U.S. beef industry leaders who traveled to Russia and selected European Union nations earlier this summer, accompanied by senior staff members from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Lucinda Williams, a beef producer from Hatfield, MA, who serves as vice chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, was one of the participants.

“We found that Russia has excellent growth potential for U.S. beef,” Williams said. “There is growing beef consumption and demand, with declining production. That’s a perfect setup for us.”

She said astonishing growth is occurring throughout Russia’s food industry channels, and the U.S. beef industry’s diverse marketing efforts are paying off.

“With USMEF’s help, our beef checkoff dollars are making a real difference in Russia today,” she said. “We’re training everyone in Russia – from raw material buyers to processors, to restaurant managers and chefs – about the attributes of U.S. beef.”

Williams noted that Russia’s restaurant sector is experiencing particularly rapid growth, and is in constant need of more chefs. This has created an excellent training opportunity for USMEF, helping familiarize young chefs with creative and innovative dishes featuring U.S. beef.

Though Russia’s surging demand for high-quality beef cuts is a welcome addition for the U.S. beef industry, Russia remains a critical market for cuts that are underutilized in the domestic market. Once the top export market for U.S. beef liver, Russia is once again making an impact on liver demand and, in turn, carcass value. As Russian importers have begun bidding against their counterparts in Egypt for a limited supply of U.S. beef livers, liver prices have more than tripled when compared to last year. For U.S. cattle producers, this has added roughly $7 per head.

Russia’s appetite for processed meats is also helping U.S. producers derive additional value. According to John Brook, USMEF’s regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East, unexpectedly large sales of round cuts are being utilized in this sector.

“USMEF’s objective is to transform this business – which is currently a price opportunity due in part to the exchange rate – into a more sustainable, recurring business opportunity based on product satisfaction and buyer loyalty,” Brook said.

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