Mexico Near Reopening U.S. Beef Imports

Mexico is likely to ease its ban on U.S. beef soon, according to USDA Undersecretary J.B. Penn, who told reporters Friday only a few matters need to be cleared up between the two countries before that happens.

Penn said Mexican technical team that was in the U.S. this week to discuss the U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad-cow disease, was mostly satisfied with the way the USDA had implemented new BSE safety measures, but some questions were left unanswered.

"We're going to respond to those questions...but it's a matter of them now being able to go home and say to their consumers and their cattle industry that (the U.S. has done its) due diligence."

Mexico's Agriculture Secretary, Javier Usabiaga, in Washington D.C. to meet with USDA Secretary Ann Veneman and Canada's agriculture minister said the Mexican border will reopen to U.S. beef "as soon as the United States implements the measure that they have offered to do and that satisfies the Mexican officials."

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.