Import/Export Snapshot

Though beef exports to Japan were down more than 25% earlier in the year compared with last year, total beef exports from the U.S. are up slightly the first few months of 2002. Exports to Canada were up almost 10% and up nearly 65% to South Korea, but down more than 7% to Mexico.

Helping the beef market was a 10% drop in beef and veal imports. The decline was due to a 50% drop from New Zealand. Imports from Australia were up more than 20% and up 9% from Canada.

Live cattle imports for the first few months of 2002 are up nearly 18%. The increase is from Canada, while feeder cattle imports from Mexico fell nearly 5%. About 65% of the increase in live cattle imports from Canada were slaughter cattle. — Livestock Marketing Information Center

Beef In The Diet

More than 2,000 physicians learned about lean beef's positive role in healthy diets at a recent Texas Medical Association convention in Dallas. The Texas Beef Council (TBC) sponsored a seminar on the health benefits of lean beef.

“Our demonstration focused on the culinary features and health benefits of lean beef cuts such as sirloin and flank,” says Shalene McNeill, TBC nutrition manager.

In addition, physicians received a copy of checkoff-funded research showing lean red meat can be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet for people with high cholesterol. — Texas Cattle Feeders Association

USDA Cracking Down

U.S. ground beef plants that don't employ effective decontamination strategies or don't require them of suppliers as part of their pathogen reduction and HACCP systems will be targeted for increased verification testing by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). USDA rules say that if a plant doesn't have an adequate plan or an adequate sanitation program, FSIS can withhold or suspend inspection, effectively shutting down the plant.

Proceedings Available

Get the 2002 International Livestock Congress proceedings at www.livestockcongress.com. The proceedings feature the presentations at this year's congress.