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Chile Growing Market for Major Beef Exporters

06 March 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

CHILE - The Chilean imported beef market continued to gain prominence for several beef exporting nations in 2012, including Australian, with total imports for the past year up four per cent, to 130,414 tonnes swt according to ODEPA.

Analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia report thatr with a slowly declining cattle herd and falling production, Chile continues to look externally for additional beef supplies, with higher shipments from Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Uruguay and US in recent years.

An expanding middle class, comparatively robust economic conditions and an already high per capita consumption of beef has helped to fuel the recent increase in imports.

However, it should also be noted that a lack of profitability in the Chilean beef industry and high land costs has seen producers reportedly turning to other enterprise, accentuated by cheaper cattle and beef prices from Brazil and Paraguay.

Chile was the sixth largest destination for Brazilian fresh beef in 2012, totalling 65,479 tonnes swt - an increase of 91 per cent year-on-year. Australian beef shipments to Chile also increased substantially in the last two years, totalling 16,386 tonnes swt in 2012. During the past year, Australia’s exports to Chile were 100 per cent grass-fed, 89 per cent chilled, with thick flank/ knuckle accounting for 19 per cent of total shipments.

The importation of Argentinean beef accounted for 21 per cent of total imports in 2012, with Uruguay accounting for 12 per cent and the US 6 per cent. The US has been very successful in expanding it presence in the Chilean market, increasing volumes 124 per cent year-on- 2012, to 8,927 tonnes swt.

The Chilean economy is expected to keep growing and demand for beef is expected to be stable in 2013. However, with Paraguayan beef re-entering the market, following a Foot-and-Mouth Disease ban, competition in the market is expected to increase significantly.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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