How are you doing? Finally a bit of good news coming out of Uruguay. Our first consignment of vaccines arrived this week and will be distributed as follows (personally I like the focus on profession over age-group).
And the planets are aligning for our number one industry, agriculture.
Following a year of pandemic, Uruguay has been facing the worst crisis since 2002 (following the collapse of Argentina in 2001--happily we’ve become a lot less reliant on exports to our neighbour since then).
And in December practically the entire countryside of Uruguay had been declared in a state of emergency by the Minister of Agriculture due to lack of rains. However, intense rainfall over the last month (just as well the borders were closed to tourism 🤦♀️) came at exactly the right time for crops. Unless we have some really bad luck it looks like we’re in for a bumper harvest of soy, wheat and rice 🍞
The pandemic also hit the beef exports which fell around 11% as China and Europe cancelled orders. However exports in the prime beef market 🥩 have recovered and dairy prices are going up and up, especially for our principal dairy export--powdered milk.
With the exchange rate around 43 pesos to the dollar 💲, agriculture is facing an ideal panorama: higher prices on the international market for Uruguay produce and more pesos for every dollar sold.
So assuming nothing untoward happens, according to El Observador, this year Uruguay will sell over a thousand million dollars worth more of soybeans, wheat, barley, rice, beef, cellulose and dairy products compared to 2020. The news couldn’t come at a better time as the government forecasts the economy will only return to pre-pandemic levels by the third quarter.
The construction industry is another motor that continued to work in Uruguay (it was the first industry to return to work if you recall). Tourism, our second industry of course has been super hard hit. There’s still no word on when our borders will open up. When they do, you’ll be the first to hear.
Have a great weekend