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Strong Dollar Means U.S. Imports More Meat, Exports Less; Who’ll Buy New Angus Products?

New Angus, the inheritors of EB-5 boondoggle Northern Beef Packers here in Aberdeen, is counting on global demand for the kosher and halal DemKota-branded meats they are starting to produce.

New Angus may be swimming against the import-export flow. In a speech to beef producers Thursday in Huron, former legislator Frank Kloucek said U.S. beef producers are getting hammered by imports:

According to USDA FSIS reports year to date imports of meat were up 14 % from 27 countries while USA meat exports to those same countries were down 12%. For the year ending with the week 49 Nov 27th to Dec 5th 238,490 metric tons [2200 lbs equals a metric ton] or a whopping increase so far this year of 52,467,800 pounds [52 million 467 thousand 8 hundred pounds] INCREASE of imported meat from 27 foreign countries. This will probably shatter all meat import records and there are still four weeks to go until years end! [Frank Kloucek, press release, 2015.12.21]

The strong dollar is slowing exports of meat just like other products, and the dollar will likely stay strong through 2016 against the euro (making European pork cheaper) and the real (making Brazilian beef cheaper).

The Aberdeen Development Corporation had focus its foreign workforce recruitment on Muslims and Jews. We’re going to need someone to buy the surplus halal and kosher beef from New Angus.


  1. Paul Seamans 2015-12-21 11:38

    This is one reason that the South Dakota Stockgrowers, R-CALF, and SD Farmers Union are against the Trans Pacific Partnership and that NCBA, Corn Growers Association, and Farm Bureau are for TPP.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-12-21 12:07

    If it stinks of big ag Farm Burro will support it regardless of the consequences for real family farmers.

  3. Greg 2015-12-21 13:36

    Maybe the Aberdeen Development Corporation should have focused this plant on local workers and processing a product that local consumers were interested in buying. We ship thousands of cattle out of the state every day and turn around and ship processed beef back. It would seem that it would be cheaper to hire local workers and pay a competitive wage than shipping it both ways for the consumer.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-21 13:46

    Paul, TPP means more imports, lower prices, and more South Dakota producers going out of business, right?

    Greg, the idea of a locally integrated production and consumption seems to escape our economic developers, especially in agriculture.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-21 13:50

    By the way, Frank Kloucek sends a list of things we could do to help domestic livestock growers:

    1. Request Congress enact Mandatory Beef and Pork COOL law like Japan, Korea, Canada and the European Union have in place. Call Sen Thune 866-850-3855 or 334 9596 Sen Rounds 844-875-5268 Rep Noem 855 225 2801.
    2. Congressional investigation into price fixing by Retailers and Wholesalers ie the price of beef has not been reduced in the retail sector to reflect the 45 percent drop in live cattle prices.
    3. Ban on Packer ownership of Cattle limited to 14 days before slaughter.
    4. Require importation of all meats to meet or exceed the current USDA safety standards.
    5. Breakup the big meat packer monopoly with Teddy Roosevelt style Antitrust actions.
    6. Toughen mandatory price reporting especially in the hog complex ie Eliminate language stating “market prices can not be given because of confidentiality issues” include prices paid by wholesalers for imported meats.
    7. Support organizations such as R Calf, Stock growers, Farmers Union.
    8. Do not sell cattle on formula contracts. It appears to be a way to give us less for our product.
    9. Do not forward contract live or feeder cattle without a firm price.
    10. Ask for an immediate retention of moratoriums on all cattle from Hoof and Mouth Infected countries.
    11. Do business with locally owned LMA livestock Markets for true price transparency.
    12. Support changes to allow CME deliveries of Feeder Cattle to be reinstated. For more info contact Livestock R US Kim Ulmer 605-845-8700.
    13. Buy locally from local beef, pork and poultry producers. Have meat processed at local butcher shops and meat lockers for best value and high quality of meat.
    14. Ask your lender to get involved to help make these changes for his good as well as yours.

    Any more suggestions?

  6. Paul Seamans 2015-12-21 15:45

    I like what Frank Kloucek stood for when he was in the legislature. We need him, and people like him, back in the legislature. Was he forced out by redistricting?

  7. Nick Nemec 2015-12-21 18:31

    The Republicans tried to redistrict Frank Kloucek several times and were finally successful when they put him in a district that stretched north of I-90. They took his natural constituency, his neighbors, away from him.

  8. grudznick 2015-12-21 18:47

    Mr. Kloucek was the most ineffective in recorded history. I liked it when he was in the legislatures.

  9. moses 2015-12-21 21:46

    Grud at least he isn’t a crony like your buddies there.

  10. Don Coyote 2015-12-21 21:53

    @cah: From the Department of FWIW.

    “The World Trade Organization ruled today[ 12/07/15 ] that the United States’ country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law for beef and pork was discriminatory and said Canada and Mexico could impose retaliatory tariffs of $1.1 billion (Canadian) and $227.8 million (US) respectively.”

    And: “… the WTO didn’t say American meatpackers couldn’t put country-of-origin labels on their products; it said the U.S. government couldn’t require it.”

    Read it all here:

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