EU beef exporters could soon be looking for new markets in Chile after the South American country published new definitions of meat marketing standards on 7 March, the last major hurdle to resuming trade from the EU. Although not traditionally a major export market for EU beef, EU exporters could find Chile a potential new outlet for veal exports.
The EU has not been able to export beef meat to Chile because of specific requirements set out in the Chilean legislation. The law requires that meat cuts be identified in accordance with a specific nomenclature and classification of bovine carcasses. The terminology and criteria it sets out differ to those applied in the EU. Both parties have agreed on a correlation between Chilean and EU names for the cuts and classification of the carcases, which will open the way to EU exporters to trade again with this preferential partner.
The news, welcomed by Commissioners Phil Hogan, Vytenis Andriukaitis and, Cecilia Malmström, responsible respectively for agriculture, food safety and trade, comes at a time when both the EU and Chile are looking to update their Association Agreement, in place since 2002 to foster further cooperation and trade and investment flows between them.
The EU is increasingly finding export markets for beef. In 2016, EU exports of beef (702 883 tonnes in carcass weight equivalent) showed an overall increase of +17.9% in relation to 2015. Turkey was the biggest export market (10% of total exports) followed by Hong Kong, Lebanon and Israel. As regards imports into the EU, in 2016, EU beef imports (333 942 tonnes in carcass weight equivalent) increased by +3.4% compared to 2015 led by imports from Brazil (42% of total imports) followed by Uruguay and Argentina.