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U.S. Beef Gains Access to Argentina

Effective Nov. 21, 2018, U.S. beef cuts, beef products and offals are eligible for export to Argentina.

U.S. beef will face a challenging economic climate in Argentina, as the country is currently in recession. According to the latest estimates, Argentina’s GDP is expected to decline 2.3 percent in 2018 and consumer prices are up 34 percent year-over-year. The Argentine peso devalued from 25 pesos per U.S. dollar in June to nearly 40 pesos/dollar in September. The peso rebounded modestly in October and November, but is still down more than 50 percent year-over-year versus the dollar.

Sweetbreads are the most likely U.S. beef products to gain immediate traction in Argentina. Through September, U.S. exports of sweetbreads totaled 5,611 metric tons (mt) valued at $7.55 million, of which 5,061 mt (valued at $6.75 million) went to Mexico. Uruguay was the second-largest destination at 287 mt valued at $380,000, followed by Japan (165 mt, $218,000) and Chile (38 mt, $60,000).

Argentina currently only imports beef from Brazil. Through September 2018, frozen imports from Brazil totaled 1,570 mt valued at $3.76 million, up from minimal volumes in previous years. Argentina’s import duties on beef cuts are 10 to 12 percent and 10 percent for beef variety meat. Under the Mercosur trading bloc, Brazilian beef enters Argentina duty-free.