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U.S. beef expanding its foothold in Middle East

One of the faster growing markets for U.S. beef is the Middle East.

In the first quarter of 2009, U.S. beef muscle cut exports to the Middle East increased 84 percent in volume and more than 40 percent in value from the year before. The Middle Eastrepresentative for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Simon Bahkt, says the U.S. faces relatively few trade barriers in the Middle East.

“We have a very favorable environment,” Bahkt says. “We have very good access. We don’t have accessibility problems in anyof the Middle Eastern countries.”

Bakht, who is based in Beirut, Lebanon, says one reason for the growth is that high-quality U.S. beef is now more available at retail in countries like Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

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