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Asia ban on US lifts hope for beef

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rancher

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Asia ban on US lifts hope for beef

JENNY KELLY

BEEF producers in the US may never recapture markets lost through bans over mad cow disease.

In a boost to Australian beef producers, noted market analyst Steve Kay last week downplayed the US's ability to quickly regain Japanese beef sales and end Australia's high price run for feeder and slaughter cattle.

Mr Kay, who edits the influential industry newsletter Cattle Buyers Weekly, said that if Japanese officials stuck to their tough supply rules for US beef, it would be a tough road ahead for US exporters.

He predicted that once the US was allowed back into Asian markets, it could take at least two years for exporters to recover just half their former beef sales to Japan.
And global beef exports from the US may never fully recover from the mad cow disease scare that had caused "colossal" damage to its industry.

Mr Kay told the Australian Meat Industry Council he was pessimistic about the recovery of US beef exports if Japan continued to insist on accepting only meat from cattle aged under 21 months with specified risk material (such as spinal cords) removed from the carcass.

"We are only going to have a very small number of our total slaughter population that will be eligible (for Japan), which is going to act as a natural prohibitor to the amount of beef we can send," Mr Kay said."I think it will be at least a couple of years before we get back half our market share in Japan, and we might even struggle to do that."

The timing and strength of the US's return to the Asian market is viewed as critical to Australian cattle prices.

While some sectors of the Australian cattle industry worry the US will re-enter Asia with "all guns blazing", Mr Kay is not convinced.

He said there was no signs the US was preparing a war-chest for extra promotion in Asia, and the feedback he was getting was that exporters didn't want to get into a price war with Australia.

Feedlotter and exporter Paul Troja, general manager of Rockdale Beef, said Mr Kay's argument had its merits but he wasn't as confident about the outlook for Australia.

"I can understand and share some of his predictions but I'm not quite sure I'd be as pessimistic (about US exports) as he is," Mr Troja said.

"The prices in Japan are not something that can be tolerated and I think Japan will want to strike a deal with the US, as they would like to have more competition in the marketplace."
 

PORKER

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IF they would use the best TRACEBACK system going ,what could be the Problem???? if Japanese officials stuck to their tough supply rules for US beef, it would be a tough road ahead for US exporters.
 

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