February 3, 2004



South Africa Turning To Brazil, Argentina For Beef Supply


South African beef importers have shown preference to Brazil and Argentina beef following the lifting of foot and mouth disease restrictions. 


South Africa increased beef imports between January and October 2003 to 10,520 tonnes, compared with only 1,719 tonnes over the same period in 2002.  The growth in beef imports came solely from Brazil (4,821 tonnes) and Argentina (4,049 tonnes), which accounted for 84% of total beef imports between January and October 2003.  Beef imports from Australia accounted for only 4%, or 392 tonnes.


Despite total sheepmeat imports during the calendar year to October 2002 remaining relatively comparable with the same period in 2002, the limited supply in Australia has seen a shift from Australian product. 


Sheepmeat imports decreased only 315 tonnes for the first 10 months of 2003, totalling 11,243 tonnes, compared with the same period in 2002 (11,558 tonnes). 


However, Australia's marketshare dropped from 94% in 2002 (10,829 tonnes), to 76% between January and October 2003 (8,556 tonnes). In contrast, New Zealand's share of the market has risen from 6% to 24%.

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