August 22, 2008


US meat finds great potential in Dominican Republic

With US exports receiving improved market access as a result of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), USMEF has been actively working to build a greater presence for US beef and pork products in the Dominican Republic.


US pork are becoming more affordable in a rapidly-developing Dominican market due to tariff reductions and quota changes resulting from DR-CAFTA, according to Chad Russell, USMEF's regional director for Mexico and the Dominican Republic.


Rusell said import quotas will get bigger and duties will drop further over time with the new free-trade agreement in place, which will ultimately increase opportunities for US meat products.


The most recent data on beef exports to the Dominican Republic suggest a growing market for higher-quality beef cuts. While the 2008 volume of 3.07 million pounds is roughly equal to the same period last year, the value has increased by about 40 percent from US$6.31 million in 2007 compared to US$8.85 million this year.


Pork exports to the Dominican Republic have also more than tripled this year, reaching almost US$12 million in value in the first half of 2008. Russell said that while much of this growth has occurred at the retail level, the Dominican Republic also holds great potential due to the growing presence of restaurants, hotel and resorts.

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