US beef exports to Bulgaria rise 226% over 2022 – GAIN

Beef arrives in Bulgaria through Italy and The Netherlands

In 2023, Bulgarian imports from the United States surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report. The growth was due to a substantial increase in Bulgarian imports of US beef, tree and ground nuts, food preparation, whiskies, animal feed, and wood. 

US export data shows no direct US beef trade to Bulgaria in 2023, while NSI data shows that US beef trade reached a record high of $4.1 million, an increase of 226% over 2022.

This trade is dominated by imports of fresh/chilled US beef steaks for retail or food service use ($3.0 million) compared to $1.2 million for frozen beef. US beef arrives in Bulgaria mainly through the Netherlands (72% in 2023) and Italy (24%) because of volume flexibility and TRQ licensing requirements (Note: 

The share of transshipments by country in the report is based on NSI data). In 2023, FAS/Sofia assisted the leading Bulgarian beef importer to apply for licensing under the TRQ for direct imports of US beef.