South America continues to build momentum, with improving market access, growing herds and undervalued currency favouring exports. These conditions will continue to support beef export growth from South America off the back of a strong start to 2019.
Year-to-July beef exports from the big four South American producers (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) have surpassed 2018 levels, currently sitting just above 1.4 million tonnes and tracking 18% above last year.
China has clearly gained precedence, with the majority of exports pivoting away from Russia, the regions traditional partner. Year-to-July beef exports to China currently sit just under 500,000 tonnes, up 37% on a year-ago and accounting for 35% of total exports from South America, where only 5 years ago this figure was 5%. Demand is expected to keep building heading into the Chinese New Year in January 2020 as African Swine Fever bites into protein supply. Considering the strong global demand for animal protein and the low value of the Argentine Peso and Brazilian Real relative to the US dollar, South American exports are expected to keep growing.
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