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New Appetite for Beef in Japan May Benefit U.S.

February 16, 1988|From Reuters

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Japanese are likely to increase their consumption of beef dramatically in the next decade, and U.S. cattlemen are likely to reap some of the benefits, the president of the U.S. Meat Export Federation said.

Alan Middaugh, president of the industry group, said a 21% increase in Japan's beef import quota in 1987 was evidence of a trend toward more beef consumption.

Speaking at the annual convention of the National Cattlemen's Assn., he said an increase of 37,000 metric tons in Japanese consumption of beef last August resulted from greater consumer demand that was stimulated in part by industry promotions.

Should the price of beef in Japan fall by 40% between now and the year 2000 to reflect the changing relationship between the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen, Middaugh said, consumption of all beef could increase to 3 million tons a year, about 13.5 million head of cattle.

He said in 1985, the Japanese consumed 780,000 tons of beef.

"We should look for some rather dramatic growth during the balance of this decade," Middaugh said.

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