Exports are an important component of the beef business, adding value to cuts and offal that consumers here in the United States wouldn’t find very appealing, trade exporters said last week at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville. And beef exporters are working to tailor their products to each specific market.

"We put the right cut in the right market to maximize value," said Dan Halstrom, senior vice president of global marketing for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). "It sounds easy, but it’s not."

U.S. beef exports from January to November last year were up 10 percent from 2015, and Halstrom expects that to grow in 2017.

"Really, we have a lot of momentum from 2016 going into 2017," he said.

Knowing the markets is essential in selling more beef globally, Halstrom said.

"The way we’re working in Japan is very different than the way we’re working in Peru," he said. "Every market has its own importance in the way we approach it."

Exports of beef tongues to Japan are sold at about $5.70 per pound, he noted. Domestically, beef ...