GLOBAL - Exports of beef last year from the four major South American countries – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – were down on 2014 levels, AHDB Beef & Lamb has reported.
The reduction in trade is largely driven by Brazil which shipped almost 150,000 tonnes less during the year – down 12 per cent on 2014.
It appears that China played a key role in supporting beef shipments from Brazil. It took almost 100,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef between June and December of last year after market access was regained.
Meanwhile, Uruguay and Argentina combined sent an extra 66,000 tonnes to China in the first 10 months of 2015. However, in the year to October 2015, shipments from these four countries to Russia and Venezuela fell by 264,000 tonnes.
Both countries have been severely hit by low oil prices and Russia continues to face issues of diplomacy. Brazil accounted for three quarters of the drop off in trade with Russia and Venezuela in the year to October. The full year trade data for Brazil shows that supplies declined even further.
South America’s current exposure to a slowdown in China could be of concern and see competition intensifying on other frontiers. Meanwhile, Brazil’s domestic economy is struggling and Argentina’s is undergoing a reformation, so it remains to be seen how difficult their respective paths to recovery will be and the impact this will have on their own domestic consumption.
TheCattleSite News Desk