Colorado cattle exports to Japan, while likely to decrease in the coming weeks, are predicted to jump in the next year as the recent disaster and nuclear fears in the country are expected to hamper the ranching industry there — providing room for Colorado products.
On Friday, Colorado Legislative Council staff presented information showing how the effects of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent fears elicited by ongoing nuclear contamination concerns may affect Colorado’s economy.
The Legislative Council said that while many Japanese industries have been disrupted due to the recent earthquake, livestock was at the top of that list and is one area where Colorado is likely to be able to step up its exports to fill Japan’s demand.
According to a handout provided to legislators, the staff believes that “while exports may fall in the upcoming weeks, exports [in general] should increase above pre-disaster levels this year.
“Local Japanese industries, especially livestock, have been disrupted by the disaster and may take time to repair,” the handout reads. “This is especially true for livestock, which may be viewed as tainted due to radiation scares.”
While the staff did not have time to incorporate the disasters into the economic forecast presented to legislators who are preparing to set the 2011-2012 budget, they provided a brief overview of the landscape Colorado may ultimately benefit from.
Currently, Japan accounts for 5 percent, or $318 million, of Colorado’s total exports, with the cattle industry making up 1.4 percent, or $89 million of that. In addition, Colorado’s total livestock industry exports, which includes cattle products and swine, accounts for $124 million, which is 2 percent of the overall total.