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South American Beef Exports Increase in 2012

22 January 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

GLOBAL - Growing global demand for protein, combined with depreciating South American currencies, assisted Mercosur countries to substantially improve beef exports in 2012, up 12 per cent year-on-year, to 1.5 million tonnes according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.

The Brazilian Real depreciated 14 per cent year-on-year in 2012, and combined with increased Brazilian production, assisted the price competitiveness of Brazilian beef on the global market.

Exports increased 15 per cent year-on-year, to 945,482 tonnes, with Russia the major market (accounting for 27 per cent of total exports).

Shipments to Russia increased 11 per cent year-on-year in 2012, to 253,924 tonnes, while exports to Chile and Egypt rose substantially, up 91 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.

Due to political instability, shipments to Iran continued to decrease in 2012, down 48 per cent year-on-year, to 67,768 tonnes.

After a Foot and Mouth Disease induced disruption to trade, Paraguayan beef exports rebounded in 2012, with shipments reaching 185,102 tonnes swt. Assisted by lower export prices throughout 2012, trade with Russia was robust, up 142 per cent year-on-year, to 130,031 tonnes.

Uruguay also increased exports, up 12 per cent from year ago levels, to 253,798 tonnes. Russia was again the major market, however exports decreased 14 per cent, to 97,518 tonnes, while shipments to China and the US surged in 2012, up 74 per cent and 27 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Argentina was the only South American country to record a decline in beef exports in 2012, with shipments for the January to November 2012 period down 22 per cent year-on-year, at 110,845 tonnes – the lowest total volume in 10 years.

Argentina’s competitiveness has been heavily impacted by the government decision to ensure an adequate beef supply for the domestic market through the implementation of export quotas.

The primary market for Argentina in 2012 was Chile, where shipments increased 31 per cent year-on-year, to 26,305 tonnes.

Looking forward, South American beef exports are forecast to remain high in 2013, underpinned by the continuing global demand for cheap protein.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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