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Work Continues on Beef Impasse with Bahrain

Though small in volume, Bahrain is a key beef market for some U.S. exporters

Though small in volume, Bahrain is a key beef market for some U.S. exporters

Over the past 10 days, a confusing scenario has unfolded for beef exporters serving Bahrain. Rumors surfaced last week that Bahrain had suspended beef imports from the United States, but USMEF’s Middle East representatives spoke directly with agricultural and customs officials in Bahrain who confirmed that the market was open. We later learned that an agricultural official in Bahrain may have ordered a ban on U.S. beef (as well as Brazilian beef and beef and lamb from the United Kingdom) without informing other members of his department.

USDA and U.S. Embassy officials continue to work with counterparts in Bahrain to resolve this dispute, and USMEF will provide further updates as more details become available. Some products that arrived in the market last week and were temporarily detained have now been cleared, so this is a positive note for any beef shipments currently en route to Bahrain. Exporters are still advised, however, to monitor their shipments carefully and proceed with caution on any new orders.

Bahrain is a small market for U.S. beef in total volume but is an important, high-value destination for some U.S. exporters. Through July, U.S. beef exports to Bahrain totaled 730 mt valued at $4.35 million.