The United States imported 1211 tonnes of beef worth more than £5 million from the UK in the first eight months of this year following the lifting of the two-decade long ban.
But none of it was sent by Scottish wholesalers.
According to the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) one Scottish plant is currently waiting to be assessed for export approval to America
The association’s executive officer, Martin Morgan said: “Gaining such approval is dependent on passing a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection, the timetable for which has been pushed back by the impact of Covid-19.
“At present, however, we do not know if or when the USDA inspectors will grant us the courtesy of a visit.”
However, a fourth site in the UK, at Melton Mowbray, has just been listed to export beef with immediate effect to the US.
Meanwhile, more than 4600 tonnes of pig meat worth £14m were also imported by America, a rise of nearly 10% on the year.
The AHDB levy board‘s senior export manager for the Americas, Susana Morris said America’s high domestic consumption, rising demand from international customers and stronger demand from retail and food service outlets meant it was proving to be an attractive market for beef.
She added: “There is also strong demand for meat in the US due in part to extra household savings – all of which presents an opportunity for us to take a larger slice of the market and grow our shipments even further.
“Pork prices in the US are also high compared to a year ago due to tight supplies and a lack of market-ready pigs, tighter production schedules and strong demand has led to lower stocks in cold storage.
“This combined with the suspension of the 25 per cent tariff earlier this year has given our exporters a fantastic boost and we look forward to seeing these figures increase.”
Canada has also increased pork imports – by 54% to 1,183 tonnes, worth £5.4 million, and beef shipments reached 1,341 tonnes with a value of £5.2 m.
Ms Morris added: “The North American markets continue to be a key focus for AHDB exports and will continue to target these important regions to create new opportunities for our exporters over the coming year.”