Just last week, I blogged that America’s cattle inventory was at its lowest level in almost sixty years. And yet today it’s being reported that America’s red meat exports, measured by both tonnage and value, has reached an all-time high.
This is mostly good news for those of us who want a smaller, weaker meat industry. Exports are up mainly because domestic demand is in the toilet. Meat producers get a lower share of the retail price when they export meat. And the greater the percentage of U.S. meat is exported, the more vulnerable meat producers will be to currency swings, trade wars, and unpredictable food safety regulations. Meat producers would much rather sell as much of their output domestically as possible, but they can no longer get adequate prices. Link.