Uruguay beef exports to China exploded during the first two months of the year making the PRC the number one destination by volume of Uruguay’s number one export.
According to a new report from Uruguay XXI, sales of Uruguay frozen beef to China rose 975% during the first two months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Measured in terms of volume, the triple-digit growth was 820% reaching 9,108 tons of Uruguayan beef. Israel and the United States were the number two and three destinations for Uruguayan beef during the same period.
By volume, China is now importing more Uruguayan beef than Russia, another important BRICS export destination for Uruguay. Fifteen years ago, Uruguay shipped no beef to Russia; however, last year Uruguay shipped 85,000 tons of beef to Russia worth an estimated US$352 million.
A Uruguay delegation just traveled to Moscow to attend Prodexpo, Russia’s largest food industry trade show. Uruguay National Beef Institute (INAC) officials met with Russian government officials in a joint effort to better define and promote high quality beef imports, something that Uruguay is synonymous with, unlike neighboring Paraguay or Brazil.
INAC President Alfredo Fratti says the Paraguayan booth at Prodexpo was touting their beef prices are $400-500 per ton less than Uruguay’s prices. Fortunately, gourmet restaurants, five-star hotels and expats in China, Russia and South Korea are willing to pay a premium for high quality beef, and Uruguay producers will continue to market their superior quality vis-a-vis regional neighbors. Hence the headline of this article, “If You Want to Buy Uruguay Beef, You Have to Pay.” (Full Story in Spanish)
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