Uruguay beef exports to the U.S. increasing

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, August 24, 2007

Fresh and frozen Uruguayan beef exports to the U.S. have increased in volume and as a percentage of total Uruguayan exports.

After a drop experienced in 2006 the first seven months of 2007 show a remarkable surge.

Last year, Uruguayan shipments were redirected from the U.S. to higher priced markets such as Russia, Israel, Chile, South Africa and the EU, because of the absence of beef from Argentina and Brazil.

Both Argentina and Brazil had outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, and Argentina’s government imposed an export ban, which has now been partly relaxed. With the return of Argentina and Brazil to these markets, Uruguay is again focusing on the U.S.

During the first seven months of 2007, 53% of Uruguay’s beef exports were shipped to the U.S. (90,668 tonnes). Over the period, monthly shipments averaged 12,953 tonnes, compared with 8,774 tonnes in 2006 and 16,767 tonnes in 2005.

The majority of Uruguayan exports to the U.S. are in the form of frozen boneless beef (96% in 2007), taking advantage of the U.S.’s Process Verified Program for natural beef certification.

With an annual quota of only 20,000 tonnes, the majority of beef shipped to the U.S. is outside the quota, paying an applied tariff rate of 26.4% – 105,000 tonnes were shipped in 2006 and 201,000 tonnes in 2005.