For the past several years, Egypt has been a key market for U.S. beef exports – especially for exports of livers and other variety meat. Through May, Egypt was this year’s fourth-largest beef export market by volume at 59,170 metric tons – an increase of 12 percent from a year ago.
Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for marketing and communications, says that while the U.S. beef industry is understandably concerned about political unrest in Egypt, exports continue to move smoothly into the market. Halstrom is in frequent contact with USMEF representatives in Cairo who report that beef demand remains strong, ports are operating in a secure and reliable manner and the Egyptian currency has been relatively stable. These are all import factors in keeping beef exports flowing to this important destination.
The value of U.S. beef exports to Egypt ($70.2 million) is 12 percent lower than a year ago, but Halstrom explains that this is unrelated to the political situation. He says it has much more to do with Russia’s suspension of beef imports from the United States, which took effect in early February. Because Russia was also a key market for U.S. beef livers, this has had a negative impact on price.