El Salvador and Mexico have expanded access for imports of U.S. beef, the U.S. Meat Export Federation said in a news release.
El Salvador lifted all age and product restrictions on U.S. beef, which eliminated the need for an export verification program, USMEF said.
Mexico, the largest volume destination for U.S. beef, is still limited to U.S. beef from cattle less than 30 months of age.
But Mexico City has agreed to allow import of four U.S. beef products that had been banned completely since 2003: small intestines, ground beef, head meat and weasand meat.
Chad Russell, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, said that having a wider range of products eligible for El Salvador will help USMEF capitalize on retail promotions in El Salvador’s rapidly growing number of modern supermarkets.
U.S. beef exports to El Salvador more than doubled in value between 2009 and 2011, reaching nearly $1.2 million last year. The pace of exports has slowed so far in 2012, but Russell says wider availability of products should help reverse that trend.
Mexico’s decision to expand the range of eligible U.S. beef products will also help grow exports. Small intestines are likely to be a popular item for export to Mexico, but Russell says demand for ground beef is also strong.
Mexico ranks first in volume and third in value among foreign destinations for U.S. beef. Through June, beef and beef variety exports to Mexico totaled nearly 229 million pounds valued at $446 million.
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