Despite Unrest in Egypt, U.S. Beef Exports Remain Strong
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.
Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation 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: “In regards to the recent changes with the presidency and the protests and things like this the effect on the beef trade has been minimal at best. Security through the Suez Canal and the ports in general has been good. Product continues to flow. Commercially demand is still good. Exchange rate is relatively stable. And liquidity -- the ability to convert the Egyptian currency into U.S. dollars -- seems to be unaffected. So I think all in all it is a good news story in the sense that the normal supply and demand economics are still in place. There are short supply and there is increased demand for U.S. beef products.”
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.