Uruguayan beef exports are forecast to increase 2.5% in 2008, driven by strong demand from the US and Canada.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) beef shipments in 2007 have declined as a result of the fall in the number of cattle slaughtered – exports are forecast to drop 23.5% on the record 2006 volumes, to 390,000 tonnes cwt.
The US will remain as Uruguay’s major export destination, while exports to Canada are expected to increase once Japan re-opens its market to Canadian fresh beef.
Mexico will also become an important destination for Uruguayan beef, with around 25,000 tonnes cwt forecast to be shipped annually.
Uruguay is currently recognised as foot and mouth disease (FMD) free with vaccination. It is expected that animal vaccination against FMD will continue while the disease is not under control, along neighbouring countries, such as Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia.
In order to export beef to high value Asian markets such as Japan, Uruguay will need to become FMD free without vaccination.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)