Beef exports from Argentina rose 34% in the first half of 2003, as more markets resumed imports after local authorities had brought an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease under control.

Sales of beef hit $264m in the first half of the year, compared with $197m in the year-ago period, according to Argentina’s food and animal health inspection service Senasa.

Argentina, which is one of the world’s main beef exporters, shipped 131,777 tonnes of beef in the first half, compared with 98,795 tonnes a year earlier, reported Reuters.

The country now exports to 62 of the 75 markets that bought its beef prior to the disease outbreak.

In the first half, Germany imported the most Hilton Quota, or high-quality, Argentine beef, buying 10,277 tonnes for $58m.

Chile bought the biggest amount of fresh Argentine beef, with imports of 11,889 tonnes worth $19m. The US imported the most processed meat, with imports of 9,129 tonnes worth $22.5m.