The United States this week gained market access to the Republic of Macedonia for exports of fresh and frozen pork, including minced pork meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that Macedonia will not impose restrictions on U.S. pork related to ractopamine or the use of pathogen-reduction treatments and will accept pork from any establishment deemed to be negligible risk for Trichinella.

All USDA-approved production, processing and storage facilities will be eligible to export pork to Macedonia. The Eastern European country – located just north of Greece – has a population of about 2 million, with an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent. About 10 percent of its annual GDP is from agriculture.

Macedonia’s domestic pork industry is small, so the country is a net importer of pork, taking in 65 percent of its annual consumption. Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes estimates the Macedonian market for U.S. pork at $5 million a year. NPPC, which works to open new markets for U.S. pork, worked closely with U.S. officials on market access to Macedonia.