CCAC Attends USMEF Conference

On November 10-12, 2022, the United States Meat Export Federation held their Annual Strategic Planning Meeting in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where members gathered to hear updates on the current trade programs and their impact on red meat exports. CCAC Executive Director Nicholas Colglazier and CCAC President Rod Hahn attended the meeting.

One highlight of the conference was Randy Blach of Cattlefax. Blach spoke about the interdependence of cattle and corn. On corn, Blach spoke to his belief that corn prices would remain strong through 2023 for two reasons. The first reasons being the conflict in Europe and the second the drought affect on corn production. He forecasted that the grain basis will remain strong into the 2023 summer months.

Looking to the future in the cattle industry, he felt the fed cattle and beef supply will be significantly smaller from now until 2025 because of females raised to join in the cow/ calf operations are not being retained because of the drought conditions in the high plains region. Demand for processed beef has been strong but that demand could weaken in the next few years.

Blach forecasted exports overseas will likely moderate due to the shrinking supply of beef, causing a price increase and a strong US dollar. Because of increasing cost of production (inflation, fuel, and feed cost being be contributors), total meat production could moderate. Price of cattle could be record highs in the next 3-4 years and there should be a good chance for the cow/calf rancher to make good profits in the next few years.

For the Colorado corn producers, Mexico is a vitally important agriculture export partner as a large portion of our ag products end up there. Issues affecting these exports are the energy dispute, perishable 301 petition, and President Lopez Obrador’s biotech ban. Resolution of issues will affect future trade. Other trade problems discussed were the rail and shipping obstacles , supply chain issues getting some resolution, air freight trade, and labor hiring problems in all areas.

Overall, the atmosphere was a positive one. Despite some headwinds impacting beef exports, annual records are still within reach and it was nice to see updates on the two USMEF beef programs in South Korea and Mexico which are funded in part by Colorado corn checkoff dollars. Meanwhile, pork exports are down slightly, mainly due to a steep decline in exports to China. However, there has been significant growth in the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Columbia and ASEAN regions, showing the strength in the diversity of the USMEF export programs. USMEF also spoke about the emerging markets in Africa and the incredible potential there.