Japan is partly lifting its ban on imported beef from the United States -- but only to a point. According to a story today in Reuters, the country will accept less than one-fifth the amount of U.S. beef it once consumed.
In December 2003, Japan and 40 other countries banned the importation of U.S. beef following the discovery of mad cow disease at one supplier in the state of Washington.
Japan purchased $1.4 billion in U.S. beef in 2003, making it our largest importer at the time. For now, beef from cattle up to 20 months old will be allowed into the country (since the earliest case of mad cow disease detected in 2003 was in a 21-month-old animal).
The news lifted Tyson's stock a modest 2% by midday. However, investors should remember that in the absence of U.S. beef, Australia stepped in to keep steaks and burgers on Japanese tables. While the sales increase for Tyson and fellow beef exporter Smithfield
Fellow contributor Stephen D. Simpson saw little to get excited about when reviewing Tyson's recently completed fiscal year and next year's guidance. He also found Hormel
Were I seeking food industry opportunities, I'd be more inclined to sample Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations H.J. Heinz
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