Increased access to Japan is one reason Erin Borror, U.S. Meat Export Federation, is optimistic about beef.

Also, Taiwan has agreed to a “science-based protocol for beef additives, opening up a $200-million market.”

Borror, addressing the Beef Financial Management Conference in Amarillo, said the industry expects to set a record of “well over $5.5 billion in beef sales next year. We will continue to focus on an improved bottom line for beef producers.”

The global supply of beef “is tight. It peaked in 2007 and is down about 2.5 percent now. We expect a small uptick this year. And we expect continued strong demand from countries that cannot meet their demand.”

Global supply in 2011 “was really tight. The U.S. was flat but the other major producers were down. It turned this year with increased production, especially in Brazil—up 2 percent— Argentina—up 2.8 percent—and Australia—up 2.3 percent—but is lower in the U.S.—down 2 percent.”

She said a big increase has occurred in the past five years in India— up 10.6 percent for 2011/12—for production and export. Much of that production is water buffalo marketed in the Middle East. “That doesn’t compete directly with the United States.

“We’ve seen drops in the United States, Brazil and Argentina the last five years.”

The United States regained the top spot as leading exporter of beef in 2011, Borror said. “Brazil has room for growth and a greater increase in per capita consumption than the United States. They also have increased consumption of poultry and pork.”

Australian beef export level remains flat in 2012; the United States is up 4 percent in value but down 11 percent in volume. “Higher price makes up the difference,” Borror said. “Brazil’s exports are up slightly.”

India, she added, shows strong growth with a potential 30 percent increase in exports. “Mexico is shipping record volumes, too, but that’s still a small amount.