A bill in the Colorado legislature would require that raw beef sold in the state be identified as either “USA Beef” or “Imported Beef,” says Drovers. The bill’s House sponsor says it would boost cattle prices in Colorado.
The chief executive of a large Brazilian meatpacking company says the United States is expected to re-open its borders to fresh beef from Brazil in early 2018, reported Reuters. Shipments were shut off in June.
The return to fast-paced beef exports indicates that Brazil’s cattle producers and meatpackers may avoid lasting damage from the bribery scandal that rocked the country early this year, said Agrimoney. It cited an estimate by the U.S. agricultural attache in Brasilia that the country would export 1.91 million tonnes of beef in 2018, the fourth year in a row of larger shipments.
In less than four months, USDA inspectors rejected 1.9 million pounds of fresh beef from Brazil, a worrisome 11 percent of shipments from that country during that time. Now Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has suspended all Brazilian beef imports, saying, “My first priority is to protect American consumers.”
Last August, Brazil said it would remove barriers to U.S. beef that were imposed in 2003 to prevent mad cow disease. Nine months later, the first shipment of fresh U.S. beef has cleared customs for sale to Brazilian consumers.
U.S. beef imports are declining and are forecast to be 14 percent lower in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period a year ago, say USDA economists.
The United States is the world's leading beef producer and also imports more beef than any other nation, says a special article in Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade.
Canada's latest case of mad cow disease, reported on Feb. 13, was born on the same farm in Alberta as an animal afflicted with the brain-wasting disease in 2010, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The first case of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011 was confirmed in a beef cow in Alberta, according to the Canadian Press. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said he did not expect the discovery to affect beef exports.
Ireland is the first European country to regain access to U.S. sales following removal of trade restrictions put in place against mad cow disease 15 years ago, says Irish Times.
U.S. beef imports are forecast to run 19 percent above the 2013 level and total 2.68 billion pounds this year, says USDA in its monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report. "Imports have picked up in recent months owing to lower domestic beef production and strong consumer demand," said USDA. "Strong import demand is expected to continue (through 2015) due to lower U.S. beef supplies and strong U.S. beef prices expected to draw supplies from abroad."