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Master of Agribusiness

Distribution of U.S. Beef Exports in the International Market

Heather (Luis) Tenhoff, Hastings, Nebraska, defended her thesis, “Distribution of U.S. Beef Exports in the International Market,” on April 15, 2014. Tenhoff is an Agricultural Commodity Meat Grader for the USDA in Hastings. She is a spring graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

The U.S. beef industry is comprised of genetics suppliers, beef producers, feedlot operators, beef processors, further processors, exporters, distributors, retailers and all of their supporting service providers. Whenever a situation disrupts the demand for beef, the effects are felt throughout the supply chain.

“Over the past two decades, the U.S. beef industry has faced many challenges. For example, the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), led to the closing of borders of exporting U.S. beef products to countries such as Japan and South Korea. This single event has created significant changes in the U.S. beef industry, at many levels of the supply chain. Additionally, there have been increasing changes in the domestic demand for beef products,” Tenhoff said.

Tenhoff reviewed the distribution of U.S. beef export value, volume and price have changed over the past two decades. By looking at how the industry has changed, she was able to identify countries that have emerged as important customers and how other countries have declined. Findings suggest that BSE did have a negative effect on the U.S. beef industry in terms of the value and volume, but did not have an impact on the price per pound of beef. East Asia had a larger impact than others when BSE was discovered and they closed their markets to U.S. beef, but other regions, such as Mexico and Canada captured U.S. beef exports.

The results of Tenhoff’s research will be helpful to the U.S. beef industry in developing an export market strategy.

Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Tenhoff’s thesis advisor, said, “Understanding the changes in the dynamics of trade with the discovery of BSE in December 2003 is critical in developing continuing strategy for the U.S. beef industry. This is important because sanitary and phytosanitary challenges are real issues that the food and agri-food sector has to deal with.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/17335.