U.S. Beef Showcased in Red-hot Chilean Market
With U.S. beef gaining a strong foothold in Chile, exports haven’t skipped a beat in 2012. Through July, exports were 347 percent ahead of last year’s pace in volume (6,600 metric tons) and 295 percent higher in value ($31.4 million, or an average of about $4.5 million per month.)
“U.S. beef market share in Chile has tripled over the past year, from about 2 percent to more than 6 percent,” said Julca. “But more importantly, the United States is becoming well-known here as a reliable supplier of quality muscle cuts. We’re exporting more beef muscle cuts to several markets in this region, but Chile is definitely the pacesetter.”
For the seminar aimed at importers and distributors, Dr. Dale Woerner of Colorado State University provided an overview of the U.S. beef production, processing and grading systems for 22 attendees. Following the seminar, the group enjoyed a buffet featuring U.S. short ribs prepared by Felipe Farias, executive chef for the Intercontinental Hotel in Santiago.
The seminar targeting chefs was held at INACAP, a technical school in Santiago that offers a very highly regarded culinary program. For this program, Woerner focused on the outside skirt, ribeye and knuckle, demonstrating the versatility of these cuts. The session also included a product tasting. About 30 chefs were in attendance, including instructors and former students from INACAP. But in addition to those attending, INACAP assisted USMEF in reaching out to a wide database of chefs and foodservice professionals throughout Chile.
“Meat buyers and foodservice professionals in Chile are intrigued by the traction U.S. beef has gained here,” said Julca. “Clearly their clientele has responded in an overwhelmingly positive manner because demand for U.S. beef is very strong. But it is important that we continue to provide them with the information and tools they need, so that we can develop and even larger and more loyal customer base.”
Note: One metric ton = 2,204.622 pounds. Export statistics refer to muscle cuts plus variety meat, unless otherwise indicated.