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Colorado Beefs Up Exports
Critical Japanese Market Expands
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Colorado¡¯s Agricultural Industry Welcomes New
Beef Agreement for U.S./Japan Beef Trade
Colorado¡¯s beef industry is pleased with Japan¡¯s
new beef agreement, which expands access in the
Japanese market for Colorado and U.S. beef.
¡°Colorado¡¯s agricultural industry is thankful to
the U.S. and Japanese governments for bringing
the change for the Colorado and U.S. beef indus-
try,¡± said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
John Salazar. ¡°Japan is our second largest export
market for beef already, and with this new agree-
ment we anticipate even more opportunities to
sell Colorado beef in Japan.¡±
In 2003, Japan closed the market to U.S. beef with
the discovery of BSE (bovine spongiform encepha-
2013 MArCh #4-2
The U.S. Meat Export Federation, an association based in Denver, Colorado
predicts the expanded access for U.S. beef to Japan should result in export
increases of over 45 percent in the near future.
International marketing specialists at the Colorado Department of Agricul-
ture are available to assist in beginning and expanding Colorado¡¯s export
markets. Assistance includes training for export operations, assessment of
market options, international finance and accessing USDA funding sup-
port for exporters. For information, visit, call
303.239.4118, or e-mail
lopathy) in the U.S. Subsequently Japan opened their market to allow beef
from cattle 20 months of age or younger. Now (under the new agreement), beef
from cattle up to 30 months of age is allowable. This increases the percentage of
herds eligible for the Japanese market from 20 percent to around 90 percent.
Japan is a critical market for Colorado beef. In the first six years after Japan
limited access to U.S. beef, the Colorado cattle industry lost more than $350
million in export sales. Colorado is the second largest exporter of beef products
to Japan, supplying over 17 percent of all beef exported to Japan and over 25
percent of all frozen beef from the U.S.
Exports of varietal cuts have also resumed. For
each of the three years prior to the closure in late
2003, Colorado exported over $10 million of beef
tongue to Japan. Japan is a premium market for
varietal meats, and the new agreement will assist
Colorado¡¯s packers and cattle industry.
¡°Beef exports to Japan represented over 43 percent
of the state¡¯s total exports to Japan, even before
the expanded access,¡± said Salazar. ¡°We experi-
enced growth of over 40 percent in beef exports to
Japan in 2012. With the expanded market access
resulting from this agreement, we can look for-
ward to further robust sales in Japan. The expand-
ed availability of Colorado beef will also increase
value priced beef to the Japanese consumer.¡±
Colorado¡¯s exports of manufactured, agricultural and mineral products in-
creased 11.3 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, growing from $7.3 billion to
$8.1 billion. Colorado¡¯s rate of growth topped the 4.4 percent national average
for merchandise export growth for the same period.
¡°Despite a challenging global economy, exports continue to be a bright spot for
Colorado,¡± said Ken Lund, executive director of the Colorado Office of Eco-
nomic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). ¡°Selling more Colorado-
made goods in international markets means more jobs here at home. We con-
gratulate Colorado businesses and entrepreneurs for their continued success in
increasing the state¡¯s exports to new record levels.¡±
Key merchandise export categories for Colorado include computer and elec-
tronic products, food and kindred products, machinery, and chemicals.
Among Colorado¡¯s top ten exports, industrial machinery, including comput-
ers (+38%), oil and gas (+32%), articles of iron or steel (+23) and meat, includ-
ing beef, pork and offal (+11) showed significant increases.
Canada retains its position as Colorado¡¯s top export market, reaching $1.9
billion, up 29.5% over 2011. Key exports to Canada include industrial ma-
chinery (including computers); meat (including beef, pork and offal); optical,
photographic and medical or surgical instruments; and oil and gas. Mexico
retains its position as Colorado¡¯s second largest export market with $847
million in exports in 2012, up 12% over 2011. Mainland China remained third
with $676 million in exports, a 6% increase. Japan remained fourth with $427
million in exports, followed by Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of
Korea and Switzerland.
Colorado Exports Reached New Record Levels In 2012