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Weekly Audio Report Taiwan Beef Access

Published: Apr 20, 2009

In this week’s USMEF weekly audio report, USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng discusses the recent decline in beef exports to Taiwan. One of the first Asian countries to reopen to U.S. beef following the BSE-related market closures, Taiwan was a top-five beef export market from 2005 through 2007. It was the sixth-largest value market for U.S. beef in 2008 ($127.7 million) and eighth-largest in terms of volume (27,313 metric tons or 60.2 million pounds).

But so far in 2009, beef exports to Taiwan have fallen by almost 30 percent compared to last year. As Mr. Seng explains, U.S. beef continues to face severe market access restrictions in Taiwan. Currently, Taiwan only allows boneless muscle cuts from cattle 30 month of age or less, while prohibiting all bone-in cuts and variety meat. When combined with a stronger U.S. dollar and sluggish economy, these conditions are creating a difficult economic environment for U.S. beef.