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May 2014

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30 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MAY 2014 BRIEFS COOL CARGOES US MEAT PRODUCERS FACE CHALLENGES OVERSEAS U.S. MEAT PRODUCERS are watching on the sidelines as coveted Asian markets develop trade and market ties with other exporting nations. Japan is the second-largest U.S. mar- ket for beef and pork despite there being no free trade agreement supporting the market. During the first two months of 2014, Japanese consumers bought 30,032 metric tons of U.S. beef worth $185 mil- lion, up 51 and 34 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. Pork shipments to Japan in the period totaled 74,760 metric tons worth $303 mil- lion, up 5 percent in volume but down the same amount in value from the first two months of 2013. Despite this year's brisk sales start, U.S. beef was one of the sticking points in April's failed bilateral talks between the two nations. With no mechanism to reduce tariff levels, there is an opening for competitors to gain market share. In fact, Australia and Japan have reached a bilateral agreement that will gradually reduce tariff levels on Australian beef and pork. Australian producers also scored a trade victory with China after Chinese officials agreed to again allow shipments of fresh and chilled beef into the country. Australian beef sales to China soared in the first half of 2013, before China halted them. China is expected to increase its beef imports sharply, according to a new report from Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research. Rabobank analysts expect five years of 15 to 20 percent annual growth in China's beef imports. A declining Chinese herd, a need for the central government to ensure an ade- quate beef supply for the minority Muslim population and the changing tastes of the emerging middle class will boost demand for imports. China has banned U.S. beef since 2003. Talks on reopening the market continue. ARTISTS SHOWCASE REEFER TRANSPORTATION THE ART-BOX NZ, a 40-foot refrigerated container, is headed on a round-the-world mission to show off the work of two New Zealand artists and to highlight the impor- tance of refrigerated transportation. The box, commissioned by Maersk Line and the Port of Auckland, arrived in Philadelphia in late March, its first stop. The container carried a shipment of frozen Coromandel Greenshell Mussels for deliv- ery to Mark Foods in New York. The container was painted by artists Askew One and Trust Me as part of a campaign by Auckland and Maersk Line to help make shipping more visible. On one side of the container, Askew One has created one of his famous faces — called Gigi — and on the other side, TrustMe has reimagined his "Greetings from Aotearoa" artwork, which can be seen in Ponsonby. The container, now on its way to the United Arab Emirates, will continue to transit the world to promote container shipping. Follow the Art-Box on Twitter: #Art- BoxNZ. People who see the traveling Art-Box are encouraged to photograph the painted container and share their images with Maersk Line and the Port of Auckland, using the hashtag #ArtBoxNZ, #MaerskLine and #PortsofAuckland. UPS ACQUIRES UK REEFER TRUCKER UPS CONTINUED ITS expansion into the European health care market with the acquisition of Polar Speed, a U.K.-based transportation provider. UPS purchased Polar Speed, which specializes in refrigerated trucks that can transport medicines and other sensi- tive items at specific temperatures. The acquisition includes 118 vehicles and three warehouses. UPS declined to put a value on the deal. Polar Speed is UPS's third European purchase in three years and is intended to strengthen the health care business. UPS said it intends to establish a European regional, next-day network allowing big health care providers to set up shop at a specialized hub and do all of their label- ing and shipping from one location. Most carriers currently use a system focusing on individual networks for each country. UPS has enjoyed annual double-digit growth in its European health market since 2011, the company said, and is run- ning at more than 80 percent capacity. KUEHNE + NAGEL ENTERS US PRODUCE MARKET INTERNATIONAL FORWARDER KUEHNE + Nagel has built up it's pharmaceutical business in the U.S. in recent years, but hadn't entered the perishables produce market. A new agreement will change that. According to Kuehne + Nagel, an agree- ment with Los Angeles-based Commodity Forwarders will allow the companies to develop and offer joint transportation solutions to the perishables marketplace. Commodity Forwarders specializes in

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