June 8, 2020


Argentina reports increased beef exports to the US


US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed Argentina's beef exports to the United States increased to 1,290 tonnes in April, compared to only two tonnes one year ago, Buenos Aires Times reported.


Beef exports had increased after Argentine President Mauricio Macri negotiated access to the US market in late 2018. He left office in December last year.


At the same time, April was when US meatpacking facilities were shut down after COVID-19 affected meatpacking workers, which pushed prices up and reduced domestic supplies.


Miguel Schiariti, president of Ciccra, an Argentine beef industry and trade group said exporters need to build distribution networks for export to US foodservice industry, which wanted quality cuts and that took time.


While exports gradually increased in the latter part of 2019, exports rose in April after US domestic production was disrupted. US meat plants are reopening but not operating at full capacity.


Argentina's imports account for 1% of all US imports.


Schiariti said Argentina was able to benefit from the meat supply disruptions. The country's exports are set to increase further under current President Alberto Fernández.


Infobae said Argentina has flown in close to 100 Isreali rabbis to certify Argentina's meat plants kosher. Argentina's beef exports increased 18% between January to April this year to 162,000 tonnes, with China as its largest purchaser.


Marcelo Secco, head of Adifu, a meatpacker group said Uruguay is also benefitting from US meat supply disruptions. The USDA said imports from Uruguay was 3,760 tonnes in April, its highest since July 2019.


Brazil exports to the United States doubled in May but only reported at 277 tonnes, compared to exports to China at 83,942 tonnes. But Brazilian exports are expected to go up with US market access reopened only recently.


-      Buenos Aires Times