The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has learned that as of Feb. 1, Japan will begin accepting beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age. The new terms and conditionsexpand market access from cattle under 20 months to cattle under 30 months. It is estimated that this change in protocol will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional exports of U.S. beef.

“This is great news for cattlemen and women and is a significant milestone in our trading relationship with Japan,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. “Japan is a great market for U.S. beef and we look forward to continuing to meet Japanese consumer demands. This move is an important step forward in paving the way toward greater export opportunities to one of our largest export markets.”

Through November 2012, Japan was the second largest export market for U.S. beef totaling $849 million and nearly 130,000 metric tons. Alexander added that this announcement is a shot in the arm to a market and producers facing continued drought, high input costs and increasing federal regulation.

-- NCBA