Grounded Beef: Protein Exports Delayed

By Todd Patrick :: September 10, 2021

Last week we touched on the increase volumes of beef exports to China, but more news has surfaced regarding beef exports from South America waiting in refrigerated containers for weeks because of delays in seafreight and local droughts that make rivers unnavigable. The ocean congestion has caused massive disruption around the world. Though the focus remains on Europe, China, and the United States, South America is also seeing longer transit times and more blanked sailings as carriers cut South American stops to move cargo faster between China and other countries. 

Beef producers in South America, including Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay are expecting to slaughter 25% fewer cattle – a move that will unavoidably drive up the price of beef. With an extra 20 days on average between journeys, shippers are trying to find markets that are closer to home and can move by truck or rail – a move that Paraguay is finding helpful. The beef that has already been culled and packed for export is stuck waiting at ports in reefer containers waiting for ships to stop skipping and arrive ready to load full export containers. 

While the US is a massive beef exporter and producer, we still import approximately 10% of our beef – around 1.87 billion pounds so far in 2021. Following that pattern, the US exports around 11-14% of our beef commodities, and even though those numbers look balanced, the pivot from exporting to selling local is a complicated move that many aren’t ready to make. Most producers and beef importers would rather bide time, wait for the congestion to abate, and continue on with the business as usual. 

CFI is committed to giving you the most up-to-date information regarding the commodities in which we specialize. As the ocean disruption continues to worsen, we expect more horror stories of perishable commodities waiting to be loaded. This is why we’re doing everything in our power to keep your cargo moving. We’re still using state-of-the-art technology to protect proteins, produce, and perishables that cannot suffer temperature excursions. 

It’s the dedication and determination of each member of CFI’s team that sets us apart from our competitors – with the biggest perishables network in the world, you can depend on our ability to protect your perishables even with the troubles currently happening in logistics. If you want to know the ways we can keep you on schedule, contact your CFI representative today.

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