US beef exports to Chile have increased substantially during the first eight months of 2012, with shipments rising 293% year-on-year, totalling 4,044 tonnes swt (ODEPA).
A weak US dollar, combined with the US/Chile Free Trade Agreement has assisted the competitive position of US beef in the Chilean market.
US beef is reportedly considered as high quality by the Chilean consumer, and given current prices is able to compete with product from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
The majority of Chile’s beef imports are made up of chuck roll, ribs and some loin cuts for foodservice.
Chilean beef imports increased 3% for the first nine months of 2012, totalling 81,001 tonnes swt, with the major suppliers Brazil, Australia, Uruguay and Argentina.
For the first nine months of 2012, Australian beef exports to Chile totalled 13,513 tonnes swt
On average Chilean consumers eat around 21.8/kg of beef per year - well below the consumption levels for some other South American nations, including Uruguay (77/kg), Argentina (61/kg) and Brazil (38/kg).
With Chilean beef production forecast to decrease in 2013, demand for imported beef is expected to remain strong (INE - Chile).
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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