Potential export opportunities for EU in Latin America

Latin America has the potential to become a more important player in the global pork market, including the development of increased opportunities for EU exporters, according to AHDB Pork.

“While Brazil and Chile are competitors for the EU in the lucrative Far East market, aided by currency devaluation, Mexico represents both an opportunity and a potential competitor,” said AHDB Pork in an extended review of the Latin American pork sector, adding that other countries in the region could also provide export opportunities in the years ahead.

“Mexico is a major importer of pork and is almost completely served by the United States, although Canada did increase its slice of the market in 2015. However, the Mexican market has recently been opened up for fresh pigmeat from Spain, which may pave the way for exports from other EU member states.

“Traditionally, the Mexican market imports cuts that are popular in the UK, particularly legs, so the UK may not be well placed to export to Mexico. However, the fact that other EU member states will, may reduce the supply of these cuts in the EU and hence support the price in the UK.”

Current economic challenges in the region are also examined, with the review pointing out that “booming inflation” in Argentina, for example, is helping to push consumers towards cheaper protein sources, such as pork and poultry, and away from beef.

“In addition, the (Argentine) government is promoting pork consumption in an attempt to free up beef supplies for the more lucrative export market,” it is stated. “Per capita consumption is therefore forecast to increase over the next eight years and may provide an opportunity for exporters, if domestic production fails to keep pace.”

Pigmeat market developments in Chile, Columbia and Uruguay are also explored by AHDB Pork with the conclusion that even though many export opportunities are currently being met by the US, the prospect certainly exists for EU exporters to “fill gaps” in the future, especially if increased demand is stimulated.

Headline image features an OECD-FAO projection of per capita pork consumption in selected South American countries.

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