Though not considered top choices in the U.S., offal meats can fetch a premium in export markets.
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, total U.S. beef exports in 2012 set a new record at $5.51 billion. Beef offal represented $703.1 million, or about 12% of that. It also accounted for 28.4% of the total volume of beef exports.
And, virtually 100% of the U.S. livestock herd is represented in variety meat exports – some part of every animal is sold to international customers.
"Demand for both large and small intestines would tank without the international market," says Jerry Wiggs, export salesman for Greater Omaha Packing Company Inc. (OPC). "We are selling large intestines to South Korea or Koreans who recently moved to the U.S."
Wiggs says OPC just recently resumed selling small intestines to Mexico, where they had been banned since BSE was found in the U.S. in late 2003.
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