John Brook, the U.S. Meat Export Federation's expert on Middle Eastern markets, told the USMEF meeting in Washington last week that the attitude of Middle East beef buyers toward the United States has improved over the last few years.
"After the invasion of Iraq a lot of U.S. products were taken off shelves and shops in the Middle East," Brook says. "Today that is coming back and there seems to be, certainly at the consumer level, a much more positive attitude to the United States."
Export figures support Brook's comments. In the first half of this year government numbers show an increase of 29% in exports of chilled and frozen red meat to the Middle East from a year ago and poultry exports are more than double what was shipped last year in that timeframe.