COVID-19 drives down usage of EU beef quotas

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The EU has long been an attractive market for major beef exporters around the world. There are various EU beef import quotas available, offering a reduction in in the tariff payable. However, these are only available for a limited volume and for certain products. The two most commonly talked about are the autonomous beef quota and the “Hilton” beef quota.

The autonomous beef quota, EU 481 grain fed quota, which was put in place to resolve the US/Canada and the EU beef hormone dispute has seen its utilisation fall in 2020. In total during the year 45,000 tonnes can be imported under this zero-tariff quota, with an equal allocation allowed during each quarter.

There have been recent changes to how the quota works. Previously, it was managed on first-come-first-served basis, and available to all. Now however, the US has an allocated share of 18,500 tonnes, which will rise to 35,000 tonnes over the coming years.

Typically utilisation stood close to 100% for each quarter, however Q1 2020 utilisation stood at just 96% and Q2 utilisation was even lower at 76%.


By Rebecca Wright

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