Monday, Nov. 9
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Russia has become the second-largest destination for Uruguayan exports behind Brazil. The South American country recorded a year-on-year increase in sales to Russia of 205 percent in October. Argentina dropped to third place in the list of trade partners, according to figures from the Uruguayan Statistics Department.
The public institute for the promotion of Uruguayan exports, Uruguay XXI, told EFE that so far this year the principal export to Russia has been frozen beef, with a total of 71,000 net tons worth US$171 million. This is followed by cereals and edible fruits, far removed with totals of 11 and 6.5 tons, respectively, and a combined value of around US$10 million.
Brazil remains firmly in first place, reported El País, amassing 28 percent of Uruguayan exports in October, followed by Russia, Argentina and the Uruguayan duty free zone of Fray Bentos. These four areas account for 49 percent of all exports.
Generally speaking, exports increased by 20 percent year-on-year in October in terms of physical volume. A total of 338,000 tons were sold, compared to 282,000 during the same month in 2008. In terms of value, a 4.5 percent decline was recorded, with sales totaling US$226 million compared to US$233 million in the previous year. The reduction on foreign revenue, reported Uruguay al Día, was a result of reductions on international prices as a result of the global financial crisis.
Malt sales occupied second place behind frozen beef among products exported in October, accounting for 7.7 percent of the general total, followed by raw timber and rice.
Projections for 2010 are positive, particularly with regard to the export of raw materials. Uruguayan private consultant Lautaro Pérez Rocha explained to El Observador, “2009 was not a bad year for commodities and we expect the upward trend to continue in 2010 because food products will continue to enjoy high demand.”
Pérez Rocha said that Russian imports are expected to increase by 11 percent in 2010 and the same situation may be seen with Europe. “The United States will increase imports, but it will also increase exports. We expect prices to improve after the first quarter of next year as well,” he stressed.