41 Beef Bits

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Jul 18, 2008
by WLJ

Bone-in cuts headed to Korea

U.S. beef ribs and other bone-in cuts are expected to be imported this week for the first time since they were banned in South Korea nearly five years ago, industry sources said last week. Local meat importers said the initial shipment of about 2.5 tons of bone-in beef were set to arrive last Wednesday. Nerp Corp., a local meat importer, arranged to buy the beef directly from U.S. beef exporter Creekstone Farms. The cuts will likely be used for seasoned rib dishes and broth. Sources said that after the ribs arrive, it will take about 15 days for the shipment to clear customs and quarantine inspections. The new import marks the first shipments of bone-in products from the U.S. to South Korea since December 2003.

Groups defend antibiotic use

Defending the use of Antibiotics is the purpose of a recent letter which the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) and other Texas livestock groups sent to members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Committee is preparing to vote on reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) which authorizes FDA to collect fees to improve its review of applications for new animal drugs. The letter sent by TCFA and other groups urges the Committee to reauthorize ADUFA without allowing any new language that would prohibit certain food animal antibiotics. ADUFA was enacted in 2003 and is set to expire in September. Last week, an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved the ADUFA legislation and sent it to the full Committee.

USDA to list retailers of recalled products

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer recently announced that beginning next month, USDA will begin listing retail stores receiving meat and poultry products involved in Class I recalls—those of the most serious concern to public health. "The identity of retail stores with recalled meat and poultry from their suppliers has always been a missing piece of information for the public during a recall," said Schafer. "People want to know if they need to be on the lookout for recalled meat and poultry from their local store and by providing lists of retail outlets during recalls, USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service will improve public health protection by better informing consumers."

Beef Board launches new Web site

It has a new look, a new feel, and it’s coming straight to your home. It’s www.MyBeefCheckoff.com, the new Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) Web site designed to be the one place to go to find out how national beef checkoff dollars are invested and the results of those investments. "The site is interactive, well organized and very user-friendly," says CBB member Richard Nielson, chair of the producer communications committee. "Most important is that the design is very versatile, allowing us to deliver a number of different services to different users. For example, with the launch of the new site, we’re also offering ‘sign-and-go’ newsletters in beef and dairy editions to help producers stay up to date on their checkoff." The new Web site debuted July 15 and includes: Easy access to CBB members and staff, expanded state beef council information and access, producer profiles, links to checkoff-funded sites, and a robust newsroom.

Stored U.S. beef clears Korean inspections

More than half of stored U.S. beef has been cleared from quarantine inspection two weeks after the government lifted a ban on American beef imports, officials said recently. According to the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, a total of 2,925 metric tons, or 55 percent, of U.S. beef that has been stored in warehouses since last year, was cleared from quarantine inspection as of July 13. The Seoul government banned imports of American beef after finding spinal bones in the beef in October. The amount of beef that has been waiting for import resumption since last year had been about 5,300 metric tons.

National Beef’s Q3 profits rise

National Beef Packing Co. LLC said net income totaled $74.3 million during the 14 weeks ended May 31, 2008, compared to $13.6 million in the 13 weeks ended May 26, 2007, primarily due to the extra week in the reporting period this year. The nation’s fourth-largest beef processor said while the average volume of cattle processed per week fell by about 7 percent in its third quarter, average sales prices per head increased by about 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. The company reported net sales of $1.53 billion in the quarter compared to $1.48 billion in the year earlier quarter. Live cattle prices during the quarter declined 5.8 percent and average cattle weights increased 2.1 percent.