Good News for U.S. Meat Industry

Good News for U.S. Meat Industry

30-day East Coast Port Labor Contract Extension Good News for U.S. Beef

I’m KayDee Gilkey with today’s Open Range.

While the port labor situation is still in limbo with some of our grain terminals here in the Pacific Northwest; there is good news for U.S. meat industry with last week’s announcement of a 30-day extension of the contract between the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association. This helped to divert a labor strike that could have shut down East Coast and Gulf Coast ports that are critical outlets for U.S. beef and pork exports.

Paul Clayton, U.S. Meat Export Federation Senior Vice President for export services, has more details.

Clayton: “This is very good news for us as the ports that would have been shut down in the case of a strike are large ports for us; for exports of both beef and pork. So news that this was put off for another 30 days is good news to us. And hopefully in that time period, they can get a lot of the issues pulled together and make it so it is a more meaningful contract for everybody. The impact of this is good because our exporters will be able to continue export for the next 30 days or make plans for alternatives in the event of further problems.”

For U.S. beef exports, the greatest potential impact rests with the Port of Houston, which handled nearly 150,000 metric tons of outbound beef in the first three quarters of 2012 – or about 25 percent of all beef shipped out of the United States through an ocean port.


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