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Posted November 11, 2003 by publisher in Cuba-US Trade

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Associated Press
HAVANA (AP)—U.S. companies took the largest share of sales contracts signed at the just-concluded Havana International Fair, the Cuban government announced on Monday.

The government purchasing company Alimport said in a news release that it had signed contracts worth $164.9 million during the fair that concluded on Sunday. The figure includes insurance, shipping and other fees.

Thirty-six of the 47 companies that won deals were from the U.S.

Cuba held formal signing ceremonies for what in other conditions would be routine deals. But the routine has an allure to many American companies that were barred from selling such goods to Cuba for decades until the U.S. Congress eased embargo restrictions in 2000.

Sales started in late 2001 and the Cuban government has been eager to draw attention to its willingness to buy American.

Among the deals signed Friday and Saturday were $18.6 million worth of soybeans, soy oil, soy flour and corn from Archer Daniels Midland Co. of Decatur, Illinois, and three chicken deals: for $4 million with Louis Dreyfus Group, $2.7 million with Tyson Foods of Springdale, Arkansas, and $1.35 million deal with AJC International of Atlanta.

Cuba had earlier signed chicken deals for another $3.1 million from Tyson and $1.8 million from Dreyfus.

Smaller contracts went to companies such as Dean Foods of Dallas, Texas, ($162,470 worth of coffee creamer), Langdale International Trading of Valdosta, Georgia, ($135,000 worth of wood), Adams of New Jersey ($163,300 worth of chewing gum) and Conagra Foods of Illinois ($76,200 in meat products).

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