Chile looks set to open its market to EU beef exports

© istock/fpdress

The EU veal sector, in particular, could benefit if Chile opens up its market to EU beef, says the Commission.

DG Santé, the DG for health and food safety, reported that Chile took a decisive step forward in relation to opening up its market to EU beef this week with the publication of agreed definitions of meat marketing standards, the last major hurdle to resuming trade from the EU into Chile.

Although not traditionally a major export market for EU beef, EU exporters could find Chile a potential new outlet for their veal exports, according to a DG Santé e-bulletin.

The EU veal industry has been touting for new markets, with the US and China previously pegged as potential countries in any new export campaign. 

Hurdles to overcome

The EU has not been able to export beef meat to Chile because of specific requirements set out in the country's meat law No 19.162/1992.

That piece of legislation requires 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.

However, both parties have now agreed on a correlation between Chilean and EU names for the cuts and classification of the carcasses.

The Commission has tracked developments in EU-Chile trade here.

Turkey tops EU beef export market table 

In 2016, EU exports of beef 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.

EU beef imports last year also increased by +3.4% compared to 2015 led by imports from Brazil, representing some 42% of total imports, followed by Uruguay and Argentina.

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