Map of South America
June 15, 2016

South America Offers U.S. Dairy Export Opportunities

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Changing political prospects in South America suggest the continent could offer opportunities for U.S. dairy exports in the coming years, but it will be on a country-by-country basis, says Jose Madeira, head of the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s South American office in Brazil.

“The continent is moving toward a more open economic system because it didn’t work for most of the countries that took a different approach,” he says. “South Americans see the stable, growing economies in Colombia and Chile and they increasingly want that for themselves. Big political change is happening in South America right now and it could, in time, create a more pro-business environment.”

Brazil, the continent’s largest country with 205 million people, represents 40% of the entire South American market. Its current president in under impeachment proceedings, but a temporary administration is more pro-business than previous governments. “I would say there is more opportunity to export dairy ingredients than consumer products in Brazil,” says Madeira. 

Venezuela is also in turmoil. “It has been a good market in the past, but it's on hold now, awaiting some resolution of the political situation. Anything that you say about Venezuela today may or may not be true tomorrow,” he says.

For more on the South American market, read here.