Audio Bakht on Middle East Beef Market
May 18, 2009 - In this week’s audio report, USMEF Middle East representative Simon Bakht (pron: See-mone Bockt) discusses the growing popularity of U.S. beef in the Middle East. While the region has traditionally been a strong market for beef livers and other variety meats, U.S. beef muscle cut exports to the Middle East in the first quarter of 2009 increased 84 percent in volume and more than 40 percent in value over the first quarter of last year.
Bakht, who is based in Beirut, Lebanon, reports that one of the reasons for this growth is that in some Middle Eastern countries, high-quality U.S. beef has recently been made available at retail, in addition to the hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sector. He says market access is also a strong point for this region, as U.S. beef tends to face relatively few trade barriers in the Middle East.
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The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoff programs.