OTTAWA, Ontario – Mexico will fully re-open its markets to Canadian beef effective Oct. 1. The deal ends 13 years of restrictions after Canada reported its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003.
The announcement came from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The two leaders met for a bilateral meeting in Ottawa today.
Before the BSE case, Canada was exporting between C$270 million and C$290 million of beef per year to Mexico, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). Mexico re-opened its markets to Canadian beef from cattle under-30-months (UTM) of age later that year but remained closed to beef from cattle over 30 months (OTM) and some under-30-months offal products. The CCA applauded the announcement, which is the final step toward normalizing Canada’s beef trade with Mexico.
“The months of October and November are traditionally the time of year when Canadian beef farmers send most of their mature breeding cows to market,” Dan Darling, CCA president, said in a statement. “Mexico has traditionally been an excellent market for Canadian beef. In addition to expanded access for OTM beef, we look forward to potential future opportunities that today’s announcement of fully restored access for Canada for all beef and beef products, regardless of the age of the cattle, will bring.”
CCA said Canada averaged C$136 million in annual beef exports to Mexico from 2011 to 2015, which makes Mexico Canada’s third-largest export market over the past three years.