September 29, 2004



Argentina's January-August Beef Exports Up 57% To $665 Million
Argentina's beef exports rose 57% during the first eight months of 2004, compared with the same period a year ago, the country's animal- and food-inspection agency, Senasa, reported Tuesday.
Exports are up largely because more markets have reopened their doors to Argentine fresh beef after previously banning it due to foot-and-mouth disease concerns. For most countries, those concerns are now gone. But major markets, such as Canada, Japan, Mexico and the U.S., remain closed.
Argentina shipped 294,984 metric tons of beef - including fresh beef, chilled boneless cuts, frozen boneless cuts, processed cooked beef and related bovine innards - to more than 80 countries.
Argentina exported $665 million worth of beef between January through August. This is a 75% increase over sales from a year ago.
In this period, Argentina shipped 19,853 tons of beef - worth $144 million - to the European Union under the Hilton Import quota program.
Non-Hilton-related chilled and frozen fresh beef shipments totaled 173,703 tons, or $358 million.
As usual, Germany was the biggest buyer of Hilton cuts, accounting for 11,155 tons. Next was Holland with 2,916 tons, Great Britain, which bought 2,669 tons, and Italy with 2,172 tons.
Russia was the biggest buyer of fresh beef, accounting for 48,814 tons - worth almost $75 million - during the first seven months of 2004.
Meanwhile, Argentina sold 40,208 tons of processed beef for a total value amount of $108 million.
The main buyer of processed beef was the U.S., accounting for 18,400 tons.
The U.S. has kept a ban on fresh Argentine beef since early 2001, when Argentina confirmed a widespread outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Argentina exported 332,011 tons of beef in 2000, the last normal export year before the country admitted to problems with foot-and-mouth disease.
In 2003, Argentina's beef exports totaled 379,366 tons, or $694 million, according to Senasa.
Argentina will export between 400,000 and 420,000 tons of beef in 2004, the Agriculture Secretariat has estimated.
Argentina is the world's fifth biggest beef producer and the sixth largest beef exporter, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA has forecast Argentina's 2004 beef exports at 540,000 tons. The USDA sees 2005 exports totaling 600,000 tons.

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