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Chilean Beef Imports Rising

12 April 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

CHILEChilean beef imports in the first two months of 2013 increased 60 per cent year-on-year, to 21,681 tonnes swt, according to figures from ODEPA, the Chilean Agriculture Department.

CHILE - Chilean beef imports in the first two months of 2013 increased 60 per cent year-on-year, to 21,681 tonnes swt, according to figures from ODEPA (Agriculture Department – Chile).

Analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia said that while the re-entrance of Paraguayan beef into the Chilean market has been very slow, imports from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and US continue to be well above year ago levels.

Paraguayan beef imports totalled 777 tonnes swt for the first two months of the year, accounting for only 3.6 per cent of total imports.

In contrast, imports from Brazil increased 110 per cent, to 11,461 tonnes swt. Along with Brazil, Argentinean volumes increased 18 per cent, to 4,719 tonnes swt, with larger volumes also registered by Uruguay (up 31 per cent) and US (up 60 per cent).

A weak US dollar, combined with the US/Chile Free Trade Agreement has assisted the competitive position of US beef in the Chilean market.

Beef exports to Chile increased substantially in 2012, totalling 7,991 tonnes swt - an increase of 152 per cent year-on-year. For the first two months of 2013, US exports to Chile are up 60 per cent year-on-year, to 1,499 tonnes swt.

In contrast, MLA says, Australian beef exports during the first two months of the year to Chile decreased 67 per cent year-on-year, to 620 tonnes swt. Along with proximity, lower beef export prices assisted Brazil and Argentina’s competitive position during this period.

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