February 5, 2004



Cuba To Allow Fresh Beef Imports From Argentina


Fresh Argentine beef and pork exports will be allowed back in Cuba, Argentina's animal and vegetable inspection agency, Senasa, said Wednesday.


Argentina will be able to being exporting fresh beef to Cuba "once the Caribbean country carries out a technical mission to audit Argentina's hygienic-sanitary system and inspect the ability of its meat factories to ship abroad," Senasa said.


Argentina is working to reopen world markets to its fresh beef after a widespread outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001 led many nations to ban the product.


A number of major markets - such as Canada, Japan, Mexico and the U.S. - remain closed to Argentine fresh beef.


Still, Argentina is exporting its fresh beef to more than 60 counties.


In 2003, Argentine beef exports totaled 379,366 tons or $694 million.


This is an increase of 14.3% in terms of volume and 29.8% in terms of value over the previous year, according to Senasa.