The U.S. Meat Export Federation began its spring conference this week in San Antonio, Texas. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom gave attendees a report on first-quarter red meat exports, which were impressive despite mounting economic and logistical challenges.
Halstrom says he’s optimistic that 2022 results will be strong but cautioned that inflation pressures around the world are constricting consumer spending power.
“To date, demand for U.S. red meat has been as strong as I’ve ever seen in all my years in the meat business and remarkably resilient,” Halstrom says. “But the question is at what point do these inflationary pressures start to constrict disposable income for the global consumer, and we see a crack in demand?”
Red meat exports could potentially approach the $20 billion milestone this year. He also highlighted foodservice and retail trends that exploded during COVID-19 and are likely here to stay, such as grocery sales through e-commerce platforms.