Talking Trade at USMEF

November 14, 2019

Last week, November 6-8, was the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Strategic Planning Meeting. NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay attended the conference, along with growers and staff from various state corn associations. Trade dynamics, market trends, and sustainability were some of the main topics of discussion.


Purdue University Professor of Ag Economics, Dr. Allan Gray, kicked off the meeting with a presentation on U.S. agriculture’s great sustainability story and the need to highlight statistics such as a 203 percent increase in outputs with only 2 percent increase in major inputs since 1940.


On Thursday, attendees received a session on alternative proteins and their increasing popularity worldwide with commentary from South Korea, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the CIS region regarding current challenges in the space such as barriers to entry and adoption in their respective markets. Speakers at the meeting emphasized that the global demand for protein will continue to grow, which greatly impacts and benefits existing protein sources yet also drives innovation and new competition.


During the Feedgrain & Oilseed Caucus, a market outlook was provided. Currently, 12 percent of beef production is exported, and 23 percent of pork production is exported. Beef and variety meat exports were at a record high in 2018, with beef exports valued at $310.77 per head, and on track to grow in 2020. Record pork production is expected again for 2019 and 2020, and there was optimism shared for pork exports in 2020, with pork exports valued at $51.50 per head. Year to date export growth has been led by China, South America, and Oceania. Japan remains the top value market for pork exports. “Given that beef and pork exports add an estimated 39 cents per bushel to the price of corn, it is important to continue to support these market development activities and to continue to grow demand for red meat worldwide,” added Sarah McKay.