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Some of the details on Japan

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Bill

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Jolley: Access to Japan? Don’t Party To Hard

Real market success might be a long way off. First let’s throw a party. Our largest export market is open again. Cue the band, toss the confetti and sip the non-alcoholic champagne. We don’t want a post-party hangover in the morning – there’s a lot of work to be done before we get anywhere near pre-BSE numbers.

The grand reopening was “conditional,” a polite Japanese term meaning “we will still make things difficult for you.” And then there are those twin bugaboos of relatively low supply and consumer resistance. At best, only10% of U.S. cattle meets Japanese market requirements. At worst, 75% of Japanese consumers say they won’t buy because they’re leery about the safety of American beef.

U.S. beef exports to Japan, already shaken by its own BSE problems at the beginning of the decade, were in a free fall before the export ban. It was like watching a Wile E. Coyote cartoon as the export market dropped off a cliff, plummeting by almost a third from a high water mark of nearly 800 million pounds in 2000 to 555 million pounds in 2002 before crashing to zero with a thud and a cloud of dust in 2003. U.S. beef packers will be dealing with an understandably gun shy public frightened by approximately 21 cases of mad cow disease found in the Japanese herd in the last five years,

Even though the ban has been conditionally lifted, Swift & Company CEO Sam Rovit knows there are pitfalls aplenty ahead. “We have got our work cut out for us. Sales will return slowly because U.S. slaughterhouses are unable to quickly find cattle that meet the conditions Japan will impose on imports,” he said.

A pessimistic Mark Klein, Cargill’s official mouthpiece, made this alarming prediction: “It may be three to four years before we return to levels seen before the market was closed.''

There are a few out there who believe Klein’s statement might be overly optimistic, believing a wary Japanese consumer and a stronger Australian presence – they’ve doubled their market share since 2003 - will keep U.S. export levels way down, maybe never to return to 2003’s $1.4 billion. The American pork industry, taking advantage of a great opportunity, enjoyed some boom times, too, and they’re not likely to graciously turn that business back to their friends in the cattle business.

That would be a real fairy tale moment – The Pork Council’s CEO Neil Dierks shaking the hand of NCBA President Jim McAdams’ and saying, “Thanks, Jim, we enjoyed the extra business while it lasted but your members can have it all back, now. Glad we could help.” Yeah, that’ll happen.

The bad news was delivered by Japanese Food Safety Commission’s Yasuhiro Yoshikawa who said that more than half of the comments collected in public hearings were against resumption of U.S. beef imports. Possibly a bigger blow to the immediate market for American beef in Japan was the results of a survey by Kyodo News that indicated 75% of respondents are unwilling to eat U.S. beef because of mad cow fears.

Going against that tide of public opinion, Yoshikawa said, ''The issues raised in the public hearings were all adequately debated within the prion research committee. I believe that as specialists, we took enough time to analyze these issues.''

Hiroko Mizuhara, secretary general of the Consumers Union of Japan doesn’t buy Yoshikawa’s assurances. “We are worried about the safety of U.S. beef as a whole, not just about beef from cattle aged up to 20 months,” he said.

Another pothole in the route to the Japanese supermarket was uncovered in a report from the Japan Times which was picked up this morning by Meatingplace. Kiyotoshi Kaneko, a member of the prion committee that wrote the report describing U.S. beef as safe, said that the report had been misinterpreted by both the press and the government.

"The report does not recommend the resumption of U.S. beef imports," Kaneko said. "To say so is incorrect. The fact is that the renewal of beef imports was a diplomatic decision, made for us months in advance." Japanese politicians sabotaged the committee by limiting the questions it was to address, Kaneko charged. "Answering only the questions the government gave us would mislead the public," he said.

Meatingplace Editor Pete Hisey said Kaneko's charges could give ammunition to consumer groups, food safety critics and opposition politicians to attempt to re-impose the ban or at worst embarrass the Koizumi administration. Critics have charged that Prime Minister Koizumi caved in to pressure from President Bush and members of his administration

A critical problem, according to NCBA’s chief economist, Gregg Doud is there aren’t enough process verification programs in place. “Most U.S. processors don't yet meet the basic Japanese market qualification of certifying the age of cattle. It will be October of 2006 when the majority of our supply will meet their criteria,'' he said. “Until then, sales to Japan will be limited and the high cost of cattle will squeeze processors' profit margins.”

But a look at a USDA web site (www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/arc/qsap.htm) shows the major packers; Cargill Meat Solutions, National Beef Packers, Smithfield Beef Group, Swift & Company, and Tyson Fresh Meats are ready with Quality System Assessment programs that monitor cattle entering their Beef Export Verification programs to make sure they fit Japan’s 20 month maximum age requirement. .

QSA programs or not, the quantity and quality of supplies are suspect. “We're going out there and scouring the countryside and trying to line up cattle, but right now only about 5 to 10% of the U.S. cattle herd would qualify,'' Swift's Rovit said.

Acknowledging a marketing problem that might be more difficult to overcome than just managing a QSA program, Rovit also said, “Japan wants heavily marbled animals, and that's not the easiest thing to do at 20 months.”

Unlike Swift, Smithfield Foods’ Jerry Hostetter says they can meet export demand. “While industry officials say that less than 10% of U.S. cattle can be verified for processing for Japan, we have access to plenty of cattle,'' he said.

Cargill is “Just waiting for the green light,'' according to Klein. “The company has enough age-verified cattle available for now and expects sales to grow over time.” Remember, though, that Klein doesn’t expect a return to pre-BSE sales levels until as late as 2010.

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns gilded the export lily in his statement about the reopened market this morning when he said, “More than 94 percent of total U.S. ruminant and ruminant products, with a total export value of $1.7 billion in 2003, are now eligible for export to Japan.” Guess he wasn’t doing reality checks with Rovit, Doud or Hostetter.

For feedlots, the Beef Export Verification program means conforming to the requirements of each packer's QSA and maintaining separate records for each. Crist Feed Yard, KC Feeders, Midwest Feeders, Poky Feeders, Sublette Feeders and the yards run by Agri Beef are among the few that have created their own program.

Japan will require a paper trail from ranch to the retail and every step in between. Birth records alone won't do and producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds. It night cost ranchers anywhere from 50 cents to a buck twenty-five per head to put their information into a database.

Speaking to an AP reporter last week, John Lawrence, a livestock economist and director of the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State said, "It seems very few people know about this kind of stuff, but the writing's been on the wall for a long time,"

While the rules confuse many in the cattle business, it’s now a confirmed, hard-core “death and taxes” fact of life. If producers want to take advantage of reopened markets in Japan and about 70 other countries, they’ll need to get up to speed quickly.

“I think ranchers are sitting there asking, 'What are we supposed to be doing?'" said John Paterson, an extension beef specialist at Montana State University. Even he admits some of the fine points escape him. .

"The devil will be in the details," said Steve Pilcher, Executive V.P. of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, "and it's a matter of me not trusting Japan totally," he admitted. Pilcher met with Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato October 20 to convey the concerns of his state’s cattlemen over the Japanese embargo on U.S beef, urging a quick end to it.

Putting a price on what the Japanese decision means to American cattlemen, NCBA’s Doud said foreign market trade for American beef was worth about $15/cwt. to the fed market before an ill wind from the north slammed the door in 2003. Since then, the U.S. has managed to eke out a third of that with Japan representing half of the $10 still on the table. One economic estimate predicts that Japanese access could add a quick but modest $2/CWT.

One cloud on the horizon – Japan automatically imposes a higher tariff as soon as an imported product increases by more than 17% over the previous year. Such protectionist curbs could be triggered mid-year if U.S. beef imports jump too quickly
 

William Kanitz

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Here at ScoringAg.com we will work at helping any company or group satisfy the Japanese requirements as we do with other countrys wanting to export their farm and ranch products.We move the records with the product as Japan will require a paper and electronic trail from ranch to the retail and every step in between including trucking. Birth records alone won't do and producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds. It will cost ranchers 55 cents to put their animal information into our database.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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William Kanitz said:
Here at ScoringAg.com we will work at helping any company or group satisfy the Japanese requirements as we do with other countrys wanting to export their farm and ranch products.We move the records with the product as Japan will require a paper and electronic trail from ranch to the retail and every step in between including trucking. Birth records alone won't do and producers will need third-party verification of their documents and herds. It will cost ranchers 55 cents to put their animal information into our database.


I thought porker and Staff told us 25 cents.
 

William Kanitz

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Yes Sir, 25 cents covers the animals record and the other 30 cents covers all the data entries from feed to medical at each location that the animal moves from and to. This database is the perferred one in the third world as everyone farming can afford records that are required by quite a few governments for products from meat to crops and fish. Alot of countrys have databases but don't handle all the data required by importing governments.Yes,my staff is correct and Porker too as it depends on the total location records and how many times the total amount of records that pass through your login and password per year.You need to know that paper records cost more to move and our system can rotate 220 records per year cycle at the cost of $0.0025 cents per record.Protected data storage is quite cheap.
 

William Kanitz

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One other note,this extra information that the Japanese need is already provided by other countrys with our traceback barcode records.

Individual Japanese consumers can decide whether to eat the imported beef, but they cannot choose unless there is accurate information on where the products came from.

Under Japans current law, the country of origin must be displayed on fresh food, including raw meat, and there are harsh penalties for offenses. The data has to match the animals RFID tag number however, mixed ground meat and processed food have looser labeling regulations, and it is up to individual businesses and restaurants to provide the information to the consumer.

The frequency of on-site inspections and publicly revealing any violations immediately to the Japanese. Sellers should also provide information proactively.

Needless to say, it is the U.S. and Canadian governments that are responsible for observing the conditions. To regain the confidence of the Japanese market, it is essential that they respond sincerely to Japan's conditions as we see it.
 

Econ101

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William Kanitz said:
One other note,this extra information that the Japanese need is already provided by other countrys with our traceback barcode records.

Individual Japanese consumers can decide whether to eat the imported beef, but they cannot choose unless there is accurate information on where the products came from.

Under Japans current law, the country of origin must be displayed on fresh food, including raw meat, and there are harsh penalties for offenses. The data has to match the animals RFID tag number however, mixed ground meat and processed food have looser labeling regulations, and it is up to individual businesses and restaurants to provide the information to the consumer.

The frequency of on-site inspections and publicly revealing any violations immediately to the Japanese. Sellers should also provide information proactively.

Needless to say, it is the U.S. and Canadian governments that are responsible for observing the conditions. To regain the confidence of the Japanese market, it is essential that they respond sincerely to Japan's conditions as we see it.

Maybe you could talk to AMS and help them with their numbers. GAO says they need it.
 

PORKER

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RFID Ear Tag, RFID BOLUS. RFID Chip ,RFID back tag but Nooo RFID cattle brands as I can see them on my horses at a 100+ yards.I see that we have two more SSI reps using Ranchers.net and I see that the chief of SSI doesn't use a cover name.Just love this warm Florida weather.
 

Econ101

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PORKER said:
RFID Ear Tag, RFID BOLUS. RFID Chip ,RFID back tag but Nooo RFID cattle brands as I can see them on my horses at a 100+ yards.I see that we have two more SSI reps using Ranchers.net and I see that the chief of SSI doesn't use a cover name.Just love this warm Florida weather.

I guess the hardest part would be getting the packers to tell you the truth of what they just paid for the cattle they bought. Surprise, surprise.
 
A

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Conman: "I guess the hardest part would be getting the packers to tell you the truth of what they just paid for the cattle they bought. Surprise, surprise."

Prices are reported by both packers and feeders. Add another stupid statement to your list of refuted statements.


~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
Conman: "I guess the hardest part would be getting the packers to tell you the truth of what they just paid for the cattle they bought. Surprise, surprise."

Prices are reported by both packers and feeders. Add another stupid statement to your list of refuted statements.


~SH~

Go read the GAO report, SH.
 
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Prices are reported by both packers and feeders. Add another stupid statement to your list.



~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
Prices are reported by both packers and feeders. Add another stupid statement to your list.



~SH~

So what? Do you have a point, or do you just like to hear yourself talk? Why does this make a "stupid statement" on my list and not yours? Did I need to say packers and feeders?
 
A

Anonymous

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Conman: "I guess the hardest part would be getting the packers to tell you the truth of what they just paid for the cattle they bought. Surprise, surprise."

Why would it be hard to get the packers to tell you the truth about the prices they were paying when the feeders are reporting the same prices and they are both reported to USDA?

Well, ah, gee, ah, that's really not what I meant, ah.....ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz!

That's how ignorant you are.


~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
Conman: "I guess the hardest part would be getting the packers to tell you the truth of what they just paid for the cattle they bought. Surprise, surprise."

Why would it be hard to get the packers to tell you the truth about the prices they were paying when the feeders are reporting the same prices and they are both reported to USDA?

Well, ah, gee, ah, that's really not what I meant, ah.....ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz!

That's how ignorant you are.


~SH~



* GAO observed lengthy lag times by USDA in correcting problems when packers failed to report or provided incorrect information. GAO evaluated 844 audits and found that packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64 percent of the time. On many of these audits it showed that USDA, on average, was taking roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information

SH, maybe you should be a little more informed before you call others ignorant - but then, I guess that isn't your style.
 
A

Anonymous

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* GAO observed lengthy lag times by USDA in correcting problems when packers failed to report or provided incorrect information. GAO evaluated 844 audits and found that packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64 percent of the time. On many of these audits it showed that USDA, on average, was taking roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information

A classic example of what happens when you have a flawed government mandate that demands proof of pricing WITHOUT PROOF OF THE VALUE THAT DETERMINED THAT PRICE!

It's none of your damn business what I get paid for my fat cattle Sandbag. SOCIALIST!



~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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Nice divertion!

What the heck, I can make you look like an idiot again on this new topic as well -

What I receive for my stocks that I sell is reported - what I receive for my commodities contracts are reported. Is that anybody's else's business? The answer is yes it is. In the interest of transparent and fair markets, common sense shows that everybody needs to know what the current market is - and you can't do that without reporting trades.

A socialist? :lol: You need to look up what a socialist is. The rules and reasoning of market transparacy fall in with Capitalism.
 
A

Anonymous

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Sandbag: "In the interest of transparent and fair markets, common sense shows that everybody needs to know what the current market is - and you can't do that without reporting trades."

The only way for price reporting to have value is for that price to be based on the value of that animal. Not on a guess of that value. Anyone that has fed feeder cattle can tell you that the value of a feeder calf is based on that calves ability to gain and convert feed and that calves ability to grade and yield. That value is not reflected in the prices that are reported.

Anyone who has sold fat cattle can tell you that the value of a fat animal is based on it's grade, yield, and yield grade. Not a guess of that grade, yield, and yield grade.

The cash market tells you nothing about the value of the cattle that were bought.

Price reporting without reporting value tells you nothing. It just tells someone with poor cattle that they should be paid as much as someone with quality cattle. That's why this industry is heading away from socialized cattle marketing towards value based marketing.



~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
* GAO observed lengthy lag times by USDA in correcting problems when packers failed to report or provided incorrect information. GAO evaluated 844 audits and found that packers incorrectly reported or failed to report required information 64 percent of the time. On many of these audits it showed that USDA, on average, was taking roughly 85 days to ensure a packer made needed corrections to the information

A classic example of what happens when you have a flawed government mandate that demands proof of pricing WITHOUT PROOF OF THE VALUE THAT DETERMINED THAT PRICE!

It's none of your damn business what I get paid for my fat cattle Sandbag. SOCIALIST!



~SH~

Maybe if the $10,000.00 fines went into the coffers of the administration that was responsible for taking action we might clean up this cattle business mess. We might get a little more transparency with the AMS and the people who are getting paid off would have an incentive to do thier jobs instead of the other way around.
 
A

Anonymous

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Conman: "Maybe if the $10,000.00 fines went into the coffers of the administration that was responsible for taking action we might clean up this cattle business mess. We might get a little more transparency with the AMS and the people who are getting paid off would have an incentive to do thier jobs instead of the other way around.'

This industry would be best served without anti-corporate conspiracy theorists like you that believe dropping your price in the cash market as your needs are met in the formula market is proof of market manipulation.

You do a great diservice to this industry with your relentless bullsh*t conspiracy theories.


~SH~
 

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