US beef markets move closer to normal

Posted May 20, 2005, as reported by It looks as if the beef markets may finally be returning to normal nearly a year and a half after a sole incidence of BSE was discovered in the U.S. Oman and Egypt are both once again accepting U.S. beef and Japan has recommended allowing the importation of cattle, untested, under the age of 21 months.

The US Department of Agriculture confirmed the Oman lift May 11. “Oman's market reopening demonstrates a commitment to trade in beef and beef products based on internationally accepted scientific standards for human and animal health,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. “Oman recognizes that all US beef and beef products are safe. This is another step forward in our efforts to reopen global markets for US beef.”

In 2003, the United States exported more than $61,000 worth of beef and beef products to Oman, the USDA said. It is the second country in the Middle East region to reopen its market to US beef. Egypt announced the reopening of its market to U.S. beef in March.

In 2003, the United States exported approximately $7.5bn worth of beef, beef products, cattle and other ruminants and ruminant by-products. After the discovery of a BSE-infected cow in the United States, $4.8bn worth of beef exports were banned. To date, USDA estimates that is has recovered $1.9bn of the banned amount.