Uruguay expands meat sales activities to Japan and South Korea
Sales of Uruguayan meat to Japan have been increasing at an increasingly rapid rate, according to newspaper reports. In 2019, trade amounted to US $ 20 million; in 2020, 24 million US dollars and so far in 2021, revenue in dollars has increased by 72% compared to the same period of the previous year, according to Montevideo Portal.
Meat exporters see great potential because, for Japan, Uruguay’s shipments represent only 1% of its beef imports.
On the other hand, the Japanese market in Uruguay makes a difference in that it pays more than other customers for the same product. In 2021, a tonne of Uruguayan meat exported to Japan sold for US $ 4,719, while on average the rest of the world paid US $ 4,100.
In its August report, the National Meat Institute of Uruguay (INAC) pointed out that the basket of products going to Japan “has a component of products for manufacturing and another of high-value cuts. “.
Uruguayan meat competes with the two main suppliers to these countries: the United States and Australia. Japan is the third largest importer of meat in the world. It has a much higher consumption than China, at 10 kilos of meat per capita per year.
South Korea has also become a market of interest for Uruguayan exporters. The country is the world’s fourth largest meat importer, with 8% of the global share. On top of that, it consumes around 16 kilograms of imported meat each year, the website reported.
Uruguayan exports to South Korea have quintupled over the past three years, increasing 460% in volume and value, according to INAC. As in the Japanese case, for South Korea these purchases represent less than 1% of its total meat imports, while for Uruguay they represent 0.5% of its beef exports.
Although Uruguay’s beef exports to these two markets have grown significantly over the past three years, the South American country has a major disadvantage in terms of tariffs and must compete with the United States and Australia. .
Countries without a free trade agreement with South Korea are subject to a 40% tariff on exports, while the United States, Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, are charged 13 respectively. , 3%, 18.6% and 21.3%.
The website also indicated that these three countries are moving towards a zero tariff situation. The United States in 2026, Australia in 2028, and New Zealand in 2029.
On the other hand, Uruguayan meat pays a tariff of 38.5% to enter Japan, which is one of the countries grouped under the Trans-Pacific Treaty. Hence the initiative of INAC to break into the bloc.
?? Today the price is at 25% and it will continue to drop to 9%, this is where we see the greatest potential, ?? INAC’s Ãlvaro Pereira had said a day before President Luis Lacalle Pou made public his intention to strike a free trade deal with China, sparking controversy with the rest of Mercosur.