CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Mexico is making regulatory changes that will lift the country's 30-month cattle age limit for US beef and allow for imports of US beef and beef products made from cattle of any age, the Beef Checkoff reported.

Shipments of beef from cattle over 30-months cannot begin until the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) updates its Export Library.

“This is an issue that USMEF has been working on for a number of years, and resolving it has been a lengthy process,” said Chad Russell, US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, contractor to the beef checkoff. “We received excellent support on this issue from FAS officials at the US embassy in Mexico, who always made sure that it was front-and-center whenever US-Mexico trade issues were being discussed at high levels. Though it took some time, these efforts have now paid off.”

The US holds about 90 percent of Mexico’s imported beef market, with the remainder captured mostly by Canada.

“This should have a positive impact on our ability to export more beef to this large and important market, particularly in the current environment,” Russell noted. “We’re experiencing a period of very high beef prices and constraints on supply, in what has always been a rather price-sensitive market. So we feel that having new supply options available will help us maintain a strong presence in the market and grow our export volume to Mexico.”