August 13, 2008


US beef exports see more enthusiastic Russian market


US beef exports to Russia has been growing fast since November 2006 when Russia lifted the 3-year ban on US beef due to mad cow disease.


US beef sales to Russia for 2008 is expected to hit US$50-60 million and with possible sales of US$100 million in 2009.


The market for beef was opened as a result of Russia's ascension into the World Trade Organization. Allen Mustard, the former agricultural attaché to Russia for the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, said that beef liver for production of sausage is the largest segment of exports to Russia, but demand is expanding for other cuts as well.


"Seventy percent of the meat consumed in Russia is consumed in the form of sausage products, so we ship a lot of beef liver," says Mustard. "We also have been shipping more and more of the primal cuts for coming in for the steak industry because you just can't get good steak locally, it has to be imported."


Mustard said a big part of the US's niche lies is with heavy demand by Russian consumers as well as available raw commodities for Russia's strong processing industry.

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