U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Technical Services Manager Cheyenne McEndaffer just returned from South Africa, where she met with importers of U.S. beef and pork, as well as prospective customers who are interested in U.S. red meat products. Listen to the audio report below:
U.S. beef and pork regained access to South Africa in 2016. McEndaffer explains that most U.S. exports to date have consisted of beef livers and other beef offal, with South Africa now ranking as the second-largest (behind Egypt) destination for U.S. beef livers. Beef middle meats have also gained some traction in higher-end restaurants in South Africa's major cities.
Exporting pork to South Africa is more challenging, because U.S. pork offal is still banned and South Africa imposes a number of restrictions on pork muscle cuts. Germany is currently the main supplier of South Africa's imported pork, but importers are watching this situation carefully as African swine fever (ASF) has recently been detected in several countries in the Baltic Region and Eastern Europe, heightening ASF concerns in Germany. South African authorities have been quick to close the market to countries in which ASF is found.
Through May, U.S. beef and beef offal exports to South Africa totaled 5,829 metric tons valued at $7 million. Pork exports were 383 metric tons valued at $356,000.