Randy Blach with CattleFax

(Jim) (Randy Blach) Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, Denver, Colorado. As I listen to producers here at the annual convention, I would say the biggest things that I hear that are on people’s minds are they’re worried about what are we going to do with all this protein. We’ve got record large total protein supplies. Obviously, if we have access to export markets and we can continue to grow our market share here on these global markets, people are less concerned about those total protein numbers. That’s obviously front and center to make sure that we continue to have a level playing field to be able to trade competitively with other countries around the world. I’m not sure any of us know what that is, and when you have uncertainty, that’s what I think why there is a little bit anxiety out here. Nobody knows exactly what the next plan is and what the next step is. Trade is, obviously, important to us. We’ve seen markets this year growing in Japan, South Korea; those markets have been key growth areas. We’ve seen growth in Taiwan; obviously, our trade partners to the North and South, Mexico and Canada have been key markets for us as well. With some of the things that are going on today, I’m sure it’s going to take a few months to sort through this but, obviously, access is going to be important. We’ve always had a lot of competition. We have to remember the US is a high-quality protein market. 75% to 80% of our supply is choice or prime. So there aren’t very many countries around the world that produce what we produce, it’s a lower quality beef protein. Even if you look at where we compete against the Brazilian products, it’s a little different product. Where we’re competing against Australian product, tends to be a different product, so more of those things as we look around the globe. I don’t look for those to be as key for the important markets that we’re going to, but obviously, just pure price. Currency changes, they have a huge influence on what we’re able to move here and there. All of those are markets, we have to continue to watch very, very closely.

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