Shipments entering the European Union under the duty-free high-quality beef quota slowed significantly in the second half of December as the quarterly quota allocation approached its available capacity of 12,233 metric tons (mt). Final results were similar to the previous quarter, as full capacity was never reached but the final tonnage used (11,902 mt) left only a small volume to carry over to the January-March quarter.
The volume available for this quarter is 12,371 mt – the normal 12,050 mt allocation plus 321 mt in unused capacity from the October-December quarter. Not surprisingly, a fairly large volume – nearly 1,500 mt – was awaiting clearance at the beginning of this week. As of Jan. 8, 1,619 mt had already cleared customs, with another 263 mt awaiting allocation.