Customers in South Korea are now able to buy US beef.
It is for the first time in three years that South Korea cleared the product for sale after finding no bone chips in shipments from Creekstone Farms Premium Beef in Arkansas City and Iowa Pacific Processors.
US beef exported to South Korea must also undergo extensive chemical and dioxin testing, which can take up to 18 days, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). Creekstone passed the residue tests last year, making its product immediately available.
In the case of Iowa Pacific, the beef originated from the Swift plant at Dumas, Texas, and now is subject to the series of chemical tests.
Gregg Doud, NCBA chief economist, estimated the potential for US beef sales to Korea at $815 million per year.
NCBA will support the pending free trade agreement between the US and South Korea only if commercially viable beef trade exists between the two countries.
Additionally, protein exporter Tyson Foods will also resume beef exports to South Korea, according to company spokesman, Gary Mickelson.