Despite ongoing civil unrest in Egypt as a result of political elections, the country still remains a key market for U.S. beef, beef liver and variety meat exports, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Through May, Egypt was this year's fourth-largest beef export market by volume at 59,170 metric tons – an increase of 12% from a year ago.
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.
"In regards to recent changes with the presidency and protests like this, the effect on the beef trade has been minimal at best," Halstrom noted. "Security through the Suez Canal and the ports in general have been good. Product continues to flow."
Halstrom also said that commercially, demand is still good and the ability to convert the Egyptian currency to U.S. dollar appears to be unaffected.
USMEF notes that currency, demand and freedom of trade are all import factors in keeping beef exports flowing into Egypt.
Though volume of U.S. beef exports to Egypt is up, value is 12% less than a year ago. Halstrom explains, however, the value decrease is unrelated to the political situation.
"The value is down slightly and that's an issue more about product mix," he said. "Some of the products such as beef livers are common not only to Egypt but very high demand going into Russia as well. What we see with Russia being closed this year, that's put some downward pressure on price."
"On the demand side, demand is still very good the price is just a little lower. So it really has nothing to do with the recent changes," he said.