In 2012, U.S. beef and pork exports to Chile broke the $100 million mark - $59.1 million for beef and $42.6 million for pork. This is a remarkable milestone, given how recently U.S. meat products established its initial presence in this market.
Just five years earlier, U.S. pork exports totaled only about $4 million and beef exports were less than $1 million. As recently as 2010, pork exports to Chile were still less than $10 million and beef exports totaled only about $6 million.
A variety of factors contributed to this rapid surge in U.S. exports, including market access improvements for U.S. products, an expanding middle class with a growing appetite for high-quality meat products and key competitors being temporarily absent from the market. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) also identified Chile as a key target for export growth when it established a more aggressive marketing presence in South America in 2011. At that time, Jessica Julca (pronounced HULL-kuh) was appointed as USMEF’s South America representative. Based in Lima, Peru, she has more than a decade of meat industry experience in both quality control and marketing.
In the attached audio report, Julca addresses some of the factors affecting demand for U.S. beef and pork in Chile as well as the outlook going forward. Julca notes that while Paraguayan beef is set to re-enter Chile after an FMD-related absence, she does not expect grain-fed U.S. beef to lose ground because of its unique position in the market. On the pork side, Julca says production setbacks for Chile’s largest pork supplier (Agrosuper, which had to close a major facility in Freirina), combined with Chile’s desire to continue growing its overseas pork exports, will generate continued growth opportunities in Chile for high-quality U.S. pork.