DENVER – Russia and Egypt are critical destinations for U.S. beef variety meat, especially beef livers. Through July of this year, variety meat exports to Russia are up 35% in volume and 145% in value – to $24.3 million – over 2009. Exports to Egypt are up 11% in volume and 30% in value – to $52.5 million.

Although some analysts expected liver exports to Egypt to decline when Russia reopened to U.S. beef near the end of 2007, the U.S. continues to fare quite well in both markets, said John Brook, U.S. Meat Export Federation regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

Beef muscle-cut exports to both countries are also performing extremely well in 2010, with export value to Egypt nearly tripling to $24.7 million, and exports to Russia already setting a new calendar-year record at $69.8 million.

While Russia’s tariff rate quota for imports of U.S. beef (which applies only to muscle cuts, not variety meat) is nearly full according to U.S. export data, Russia’s import data suggest that some in-quota volume still remains, Brook explains. Russia may import U.S. beef muscle cuts beyond the quota, but the tariff rate rises drastically – from 15% to 75%, U.S.M.E.F. said.