September 8, 2004



Argentina Expects Record Beef Export Year


Argentina is forecast to have the best export year for beef in 2004. With 260,000 tons of beef exported totaling US$452 million, it is the best result since 1995 when shipments represented over a billion US dollars.


According to a report from the Argentine Consortium of Beef Exporters, several reasons were attributed for the excellent performance and prospects.


The reasons include: Argentina's recovery in the European market, the strong revaluation of the Euro, growing concern in United States and Canada regarding "mad cow" disease, as well as Russia's decision to look for non traditional suppliers.


However the report also indicates that the beef industry has yet to fully recover from the foot and mouth disease crisis of 2000 when virtually all markets, traditional and non traditional, were closed to Argentine beef.


Argentina expects to recover its free-of-FAM with vaccination status next October when twelve months will have elapsed with no reports of further outbreaks.


The report compares the Argentine situation with Uruguay which had rapidly recovered from the Argentine FAM contagion, and has since gained top international sanitary marks. The country has also recently recovered the United States market.


"We have been less favored by the international beef bonanza, and the sanitary variable is where our efforts must concentrate to definitively consolidate the recovery registered in the last two years", concludes the report.