Beef Imports Increase under EU Duty-free Quota

During the just-completed quota year (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014), approximately 40,883 metric tons (mt) of beef were imported under the European Union’s duty-free, grain-fed quota – an increase of 27 percent from the previous quota year. About 85 percent of the quota was utilized, with growth coming primarily from Australia and Uruguay.

Australia’s total grain-fed exports for the period were 14,663 mt, up 68 percent from a year ago. Uruguay exported 9,743 mt, up 48 percent. The European Commission has not yet published quota utilization by country, and import figures will differ from reported exports, but Australia and Uruguay combined to account for more than 55 percent of imports under the duty-free quota. Imports from the United States were roughly 18,000 mt, up about 6 percent from the previous quota year.

With the new quota year underway, expectations for further export growth are raising concerns about possibly filling the quarterly allocation (12,050 mt) for the period of July 1 through September 30.

Sources: European Commission, Meat and Livestock Australia and World Beef Report