Taiwan’s confidence in US red meat rebounding

by Bryan Salvage
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. – After slumping in 2012 due to controversy over Taiwan’s beta agonist policies, demand for US red meat is on the rise, according to a US trade official. Travis Arp, US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) technical services manager, recently returned from Taiwan where he conducted educational sessions for buyers of US beef and pork and reported demand is growing.

US beef volume was 2,871 metric tons up 327 percent from a year ago while import value was up nearly 400 percent to $24.7 million, based on Taiwan’s September import data. For the first nine months of 2013, imports of US beef were up 159 percent in volume (24,228 metric tons) and 215 percent in value ($198.7 million).

September also was a good month for Taiwan’s imports of US pork-muscle cuts, which nearly doubled in volume (810 metric tons) and increased 71 percent in value ($1.63 million) from one year ago. Imports of US pork-muscle cuts for January through September increased 49 percent in volume (7,291 metric tons) from one year ago and 29 percent in value ($15.6 million).

Taiwan’s adoption of a maximum residue level (MRL) for ractopamine has led to US beef flowing more smoothly into the market, giving buyers greater confidence in the ability to secure well-marbled, grain-fed products for their customers, Arp said. He provided cutting demonstrations for buyers at Taiwan’s steakhouse sector on several promising cuts from the chuck. Arp reports although no change in beta agonist policy was adopted for pork, Taiwanese buyers are pleased with the availability of US pork and it is in high demand among Taiwan’s meat processors.
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