Argentine beef exports to its top buyer China fell almost a third in January compared to previous month, due to buyers bargaining for lower price, and the effects of a coronavirus outbreak, according to Mario Ravettino, head of the consortium of Argentine meat exporters (ABC). The estimated January figure of 31,500 tonnes would be the lowest in nine months. Soaring demand from China last year saw sales of Argentine frozen boneless beef double to 408,500 tonnes, worth around $2 billion.
The trade deficit with the United States fell 22.5% in 2019 (from $ 5.314 billion in 2018 to $ 3.589 billion), because Argentina imported almost $ 1.9 billion less, according to official data from Washington. The fall of the bilateral deficit with China reached 70% ($ 2.2 billion against $ 7.6 billion in 2018), according to the Argentine Chamber of Exporters. In December, 32.7% of Argentine exports went to China, Brazil and the US, while 52.3% of imports came from those three countries, according to Indec.
Argentine Minister of Tourism and Sports Dr. Matías Lammens and Trip.com Group Chairman and co-founder James Liang discussed in Buenos Aires ways of collaboration for increasing Chinese tourism to the South American country. Argentina was one of the fastest growing overseas destinations among 300 million Mainland China customers of Trip.com Group platforms in 2018. Argentina-bound flight bookings and hotel reservations both increased by more than 100% year-on-year in 2019.
Although consuming domestically 95% of the six million pigs it produces each year, Argentina has significant potential to increase production for export and looks set to sign a $27 billion investment deal with China this year. The plan could enable the annual production of 100 million pigs in the next eight years and could generate up to 100,000 jobs. Chinese importers are expected to visit Argentina in March.