Expanded Access Boosting Japan's Demand for U.S. Beef

Expanded Access Boosting Japan's Demand for U.S. Beef

It has been more than two months since Japan announced a long awaited regulatory change allowing imports of U.S. cattle less than than 30 months of age -- which is up from the previous limit of 21 months.

Recently United States Meat Export Federation Assistant Vice President of International Marketing Greg Hanes attended FoodEx Japan, Asia’s largest food trade show and one of the most important venues for showcasing U.S. beef. Hanes reports an enthusiastic reception from eager buyers.

Hanes: “Definately the mood at FoodEx was excitement. You had the buyers there that had been really tracking this whole issue over the years. So this really gives them the chance now to expand what they are doing but you also saw a lot of excitement from the buyers who really haven’t been able to use U.S. beef and probably aren’t really all that familiar with it now, but hearing what is going on in the media and seeing the excitement from other traders and other buyers -- their excitement really started to grow. So you see a lot of potential now with these companies that haven’t really used U.S. beef these past 10 years. One of the key areas that I think we are going to see a lot of growth in is the regional food service and retail chains. In the past with the limited supply that has come in has been used up by national retailers and some of national food service chains. Now that is going to get out to some of these other areas.”

Hanes adds that the higher cattle age limit will also allow more Prime beef and well-marbled Choice cuts to be eligible for export to Japan. 

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