Every major player in the global meat market is trying to capitalize on China's increasing demand for animal protein but the game has its risks such as an unexpected drop in China's beef demand. "That dependence it's complicated. However, over the next 4 to 5 years, as experts are saying, we expect meat imports to remain high. At this moment, there is a good opportunity for business to take a chance" said Jorge Torelli, vice-president of the Argentinian Beef Promoting Institute. "At this moment, the internal market is down 10% but exports are rising. The main markets for us are the European Union and China. The European market is used with Argentinian high-quality beef but China is also increasing demand for top products such as Argentinian beef, Australian beef or European" Mr. Torelli said in an interview for EuroMeat News.
The global beef market is to be caught between environmental issues and high levels in consumption as income increases in several markets, he believes: "There isn't enough beef to cover all the demand in the world. And that was seen before the African Swine Fever situation".
As for the Mercosur deal, a free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur states (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), Mr. Torelli says that, besides the opposition manifested by several European member states, the deal may face some obstacles between the South American partners. "The quota is just a figure. First, we have to decide how to split it and what is the share for Brazil, for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. So it is a process that is going to take time", he added.