According to the latest USDA data, U.S. beef exports to Korea and Taiwan set new records in August. Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO, noted exports to Taiwan in August totaled 7,439 metric tons, valued at nearly $64 million. He said Taiwan is enjoying a tremendous recovery in the food service industry.
“And quite frankly, Taiwan might have been one of the least impacted markets due to COVID. They did have an impact but it was a very short-term impact back earlier this year. So we’re seeing food service not only back to normal in Taiwan, but probably exceeding where we were pre-COVID.”
Halstrom noted that retail continues to grow in Taiwan, with U.S. beef dominating the chilled import market share with 80% access, which he pointed out is a real positive for the American beef industry. Halstrom noted it wasn’t just Taiwan that put up impressive numbers in August. Korea imported 27,149 metric tons of beef, valued at $183 million, both of which were all time records.
“The environment has been more challenging in Korea. COVID-19 impacts have been volatile. We saw impact back in the early spring, and then in April and May we saw them coming out of it, and now late summer early fall, they’ve gone back into it. So, it’s been a little bit unpredictable. With that being said, we are still seeing a rebound in food service overall. We were hoping it would be quicker but it is starting to come around.”
Halstrom noted the real success story is Korea’s retail and on-line digital environment, adding U.S. beef was well positioned to take advantage of those new areas of focus. He went on to say that Australia slaughter numbers have decreased recently, allowing American beef additional opportunities.
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