Article from Farm Journal’s PORK, written by Greg Henderson.
Demand for U.S. beef and pork in Columbia has rebounded significantly during 2021. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says through September pork exports to Columbia at 70% higher than last year and beef exports are up more than 80%.
The past few years have seen demand for U.S. red meat building in Columbia, especially for pork, says Don Mason, USMEF representative in Columbia.
“Just before COVID hit, the dollar started charging ahead against the pace of the peso,” Mason said. “So that started tapping the breaks a little on some of our imports. Then COVID hit and really put the skids underneath the imports.”
Columbia had the longest lockdown at the time of any country in the world which shut the foodservice industry down almost completely.
“That really hammered the imports into Columbia,” Mason said. “So, 2020 was kind of a lost cause and definitely suffered on the import side coming out of 2020. And into this year, Colombia still does not have a handle on the COVID virus yet. Their vaccination rate is slowly improving, but they’re getting there.
The economy is struggling. It took a shot, of course, but in spite of that import demand is starting to increase the demand for pork, especially in beef, too. We’re not back to pre-COVID levels yet, but we’ve seen great improvement over the past year.”
While economic headwinds remain in Colombia, Mason looks forward to further growth in 2022.
“As we go into the next year, maybe more important than the actual total numbers, what I’m seeing is great positive attitude on the part of importers. They complain a little bit about prices, and then they go right ahead and order some more. So, I’m seeing optimism again in that market. And like in many places in the world, there’s just this impatience with the situation and so they are struggling to break out of their cocoon again, they’re eating in restaurants.
Again, things are starting to normalize in Colombia and I’m looking for great things for 2022.”
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Beef, Pork Exports To Columbia Spike Higher