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Japan may re-open its border to more US beef


The US Meat Export Federation expects Japan to open its border to imported beef from the US, regardless of the age of the cattle.

And the Federation says that will likely result in $150 to $200 million in additional trade with Japan.

The country had previously barred imports of US beef from cattle over 30 months of age since 2005, when some US cattle tested positive for so-called “mad cow” disease.

North Dakota Beef Commission member Clark Price of Hensler was at a recent meeting in Kansas City, where the Federation made that announcement.

"So that's big news," Price said. "And that's predominantly hearts, tongues and that kind of stuff."

Price said this comes at a good time for US cattle ranchers.

"The cattle market has been getting softer, as we go into summer here," Price said. "It's pretty typical."

Price said even though the markets have been okay, they need a little push, from a price standpoint.

"We've got lots of supply to work through," Price said. "That always gets to be an issue."

US beef still has a 38 1/2 percent tariff on beef going to Japan. Price said he hopes that tariff will be reduced, and if it is, that could also mean more exports.

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