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Explosive Finish to 2020 Could Propel Beef Exports to New Record in 2021

Even though official numbers won’t be released until early next week, U.S. Meat Export Federation says a promising finish to beef exports in 2020 could set the stage for record shipments in 2021.

President and CEO of U.S. Meat Export Federation Dan Halstrom expects the final 2020 tally to show beef exports trended slightly lower last year, but the fresh data should also reveal beef exports in the final quarter of 2020 exploded.

“We’re going to be down slightly when the numbers come in for 2020,” says Halstrom. “But the last quarter of 2020 was very robust. We’re starting to see Asia in particular rebound, we think that rebound will continue into 2021.”

Halstrom says the COVID-19 pandemic also ate into exports to Latin America, with USMEF called exports there “very sluggish” the pas six months. But with Latin America rebounding from the pandemic, Halstrom says all signs are pointing to the robust demand continuing for beef throughout the year new.

“10% growth is our forecast for 2021 on beef exports, and that would be a new record over 2018,” he says.

USMEF will release the final 2020 export data next week. He says final 2020 numbers will show pork exports hit a record, as shipments of pork had already hit an all-time high by November last year.



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