November 24, 2008


South America's beef exports down 17 percent

Total unprocessed beef exports from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay declined 17 percent on-year to 1.3 million tonnes swt in the first ten months of 2008.


Russia remained as the largest importer, with purchases totalling 500,000 tonnes swt or 39 percent of total exports.


Exports were lower this year, but it showed a clear decrease in October, with shipments totalling 123,000 tonnes swt, down 13 percent on-year.


The decline was mainly due to the cooling interest of the Russian market, as importers have difficulty securing credit for purchases amid the financial crisis.


However, average export prices in the first 10 months of 2008 were 53-percent higher than in 2007, leading to a 27-percent increase in revenue despite the lower volumes.


Exports are expected to remain low over the next months due to low cattle supplies in Brazil and Uruguay, Argentina's export restrictions, as well as the current worldwide credit crunch and cautious buyer behaviour.


In addition, Uruguay's beef exporters are giving their products a new label for the consumer level in major EU retailers. The new labelling will outline the product's attributes such as breed, following procedures certified by EU authorities.

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