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October 25, 2019

Argentina to Expand Meat Exports to China

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Agricultural officials in Argentina have been working with their Chinese counterparts in recent years to increase the amount of agricultural products exported to China. The most recent advance in those efforts was the news that a Chinese company was investing US$ 10 million in reopening a beef processing facility in Argentina that had been closed for nine years.

The facility will be named Tomas Arias and it is expected to export the majority of its beef to China. Broadcast Agro reported that the facility will only sell to the domestic market until they receive the expected certification to export their products to China. Once they receive authorization to export to China, the facility will have the capacity to process 300 head per day for export to China and 100 head pre day for the domestic market.

This is the latest development in the recent trend of increased exports to China. The Argentina Minister of Agriculture indicated that there are 66 meat processing facilities in Argentina that are certified to export meat to China and that 30 more facilities are in the process of being certified. The Minister stated that Argentina is the only country certified to export beef, poultry, pork, and lamb to China.

China is the principal importer of Argentine beef. From January to August of 2019, Argentina exported 233,500 tons of beef to China which represented 102% compared to last year.

In addition to increased exports to China, Argentina has recently been authorized to export beef to the United States for the first time in 17 years. Argentina is also now allowed to export beef and lamb to Japan for the first time.

Not only has China opened the door for Argentine meat exports, they have also authorized the import of soybean meal and corn from Argentina. Argentina is the world's largest exporter of soybean meal and they have recently been given the authorization to export soybean meal to China. Generally, China likes to import whole soybeans which are then crushed within China.