OMAHA, Neb. (January 28, 2013)--Japan's decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports should provide a boost to the American meat industry, but tight supplies may limit how much exports can grow this year.
Beef producers hope to restore Japanese sales to the level they were before the first case of mad cow disease was found in the United States in 2003.
If Japan's decision to allow imports of beef from cattle up to 30-months-old leads to higher demand overall, American consumers may pay more for beef, but the North American Meat Association says the effect on prices is likely to be limited because many popular cuts of meat in Japan, like tongue, aren't popular in America.
“Ranchers across the country are relieved to see these restrictions finally lifted, so they can again begin providing Japanese consumers with more of the safe and wholesome beef they want,” Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association President Joe Parker, Jr. said.
“Global demand for American beef continues to rise,” Parker said.
“People overseas want American beef on their dinner tables, and we must continue to work to provide our products to the rest of the world.”
National Cattlemen's Beef Association President J.D. Alexander also said Monday the Japanese rules should improve profits for the industry.