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EU Duty-free Beef Quota Usage Moderates

As anticipated, imports under the European Union’s duty-free high-quality beef quota got off to a fast start in January, as importers capitalized on the availability of a new quarterly quota allocation. In recent days, however, the pace of shipments entering the EU under the quota has moderated.

Volume available for the January-March quarter is 12,371 metric tons (mt) – the usual 12,050 mt quarterly allocation, plus a carryover of 321 mt. Through Jan. 22, in-quota imports averaged 224 mt per day, putting the quarterly allocation on pace to reach its critical phase (90 percent utilized) by March 12 and reach full capacity by March 19.