Central America a star export market for US beef and pork


Central America a star export market for US beef and pork

Increased retail demand and zero-duty tariffs has made Central America a star market for US beef and pork in 2021.

Lucia Ruano, with the US Meat Export Federation, says restaurant restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic had consumers on the hunt for more high-quality protein options to cook at home.  And US beef and pork delivered.  “We have gained more customers, and this has helped to increase the volume of consumption in each of the countries,” she says. 

Ruano says nearly all US red meat enters Central America at zero duty under the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, and that makes a huge difference.  “People now can decide, but when they try the US beef, they can tell the difference and they usually like more the beef from the US,” she says. 

Through August, beef exports were up nearly 60% in volume from last year and pork exports were up 46% in volume from the record pace in 2020.

USMEF assisted US exporters and their clients capitalize on the increased demand by making consumers aware of US meat products available in their area.