BOZEMAN — The demand for U.S. beef and lamb continues to grow in the United States and globally as consumers worldwide are demanding more real meat protein.
The trade activity is creating market opportunities for U.S. ranchers.
“Demand is resilient,” said Dan Halstrom, CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. “Globally I'd say demand is also record-breaking. Sure, it's not in a normal scenario. COVID has affected food service, but meanwhile retail booms and the e-commerce platforms are booming as well. It's a good formula.”
Halstrom spoke with the Montana Ag Network During the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City, Missouri last week. He said that the growth for U.S. beef in export destinations will help support prices for Montana cattle producers.
“We're forecasting a record year for beef at $10 billion in sales globally,” said Halstrom. “The beauty of it is, it's not just one market. You're looking at Japan, Korea. Dramatic growth in China. Latin America, Central and South America. There's a lot of things, a lot of countries hitting on all cylinders, which is that diversified portfolio is really important.”
As for U.S. lamb exports?
“Lamb got hit really hard by COVID because it's mainly a food service item,” explained Halstrom. “But we're seeing growth in Mexico, the Caribbean even Central America. I think as we see food service rebound in Asia, I think lamb has some opportunities there to rebound as well, in places like Taiwan and Japan.”
U.S. lamb prices are also being supported by the congestion in the nation’s ports. As Australian and New Zealand lamb are unable to be imported to the U.S. mainland.