The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • Dairy Export Opportunities Series: South America

    By USDEC October 8, 2015

    Dairy demand is growing and U.S. exporters have a geographical advantage dealing with the world's longest mountain range, the Andes. 

    Even as global dairy markets struggle to recover, opportunities exist. This video series features the perspectives of U.S. Dairy Export Council international representatives based in key global markets. 

    In this installment, USDEC representative Cesar Leiva—based in Lima, Peru—discusses reasons behind a recent surge in U.S. dairy exports to Colombia, Peru and Chile, and how similar growth could extend to other South American countries. A transcript follows.

    (Full video will display on mobile devices when started.)  

    TRANSCRIPT: Logistical issues favor the United States

    What do you see as the short-term and long-term growth opportunities for U.S. dairy?

    Short-term, we have countries like Colombia, Peru, Ecuador which are limited in ingredient supply and their demand is growing every year. So they must be fulfilled with any origin, and Peru and Colombia have free-trade agreements with the United States. So it’s kind of a big opportunity in the very short-term. Long-term, we have Brazil; we have Venezuela which has little political problems, but can be solved within the future―just give them time. Maybe we can organize a little the demand in Brazil and get order in fulfilling their new requirements, registration and so we can smooth the process of getting into that market and… well, they can have a big share of it. Also Chile is something important, and that way I think we make a very nice market, a growing market.

    South_America1-1-151757-editedWhat are some of the main advantages for American dairy companies doing business in South America?

    The greatest advantage in my opinion for American products and American ingredients is that lead times are really short. We have an average of three to four weeks lead time which are not met by any other source. I mean within South America itself, product coming in from worldwide and Argentina to the Pacific coast would take longer than that— longer than six weeks. So there is a great advantage and the United States must achieve that.

    Can you elaborate more on the logistical issues that favor the United States? Do the Andes Mountains play a role?

    Products from Argentina can be in worldwide or from worldwide to Brazil within days. But to go to the Pacific coast, they have the Andes in the middle. So they cannot go through them; they have to go by sea and all the way down, and that’s what takes them six weeks. And if they go up through Panama Canal, it’s crazy; it is going to be eight weeks or more. So that is a barrier and we have to take advantage of that. Also, to go to the Atlantic shore for American products is just as fast as three weeks. So it’s the same. I mean we are like a natural market for United States products.

    Here are related articles from the U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog:

    “Dairy Export Opportunities” includes these eight videos:

    Each video can be reused without permission. To share this video on social media, click the buttons at the top and bottom of this post. To put on your own site, see the video on YouTube and click the "share" button. To request a DVD, contact us at or


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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff.  

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