NDTO News Article

ND visits ExpoActiva, Continues Cultivating Relationship with Uruguay

The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) and regional equipment dealers and representatives RDO Equipment, Titan Machinery and Agri Machinery Sales recently returned from Uruguay where they attended ExpoActiva, the largest agriculture equipment trade show in the country.  This trip was part of a larger initiative by North Dakota to cultivate a strong trade relationship with Uruguay – one which is proving to be successful.  New reports from U.S. Department of Commerce show North Dakota’s exports to Uruguay have increased over 585% over the same period last year.

“Uruguay is a great example of an export market that has become successful for our North Dakota exporters through years of relationship building,” said NDTO Executive Director, Dean Gorder.  “The relationship began in 2009, and we are now seeing significant business successes due to time spent traveling to the market and bringing buyers back to North Dakota.”

NDTO has sponsored trade missions, hosted reverse trade missions and business trips six (6) times over the past three (3) years.  The relationship began when a delegation from Uruguay participated in the Big Iron International Visitors Program in 2009.  Strong relationships were built with a number of buyers, distributors and farmers during this reverse mission, which inspired NDTO to lead a group of regional equipment manufacturers and dealers to ExpoActiva in March 2010.  From there the relationship has blossomed.

“Robert Gorter from the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo has done a great job assisting our member companies with opportunities in the Uruguayan market.  He has also brought large delegations of potential buyers to Big Iron each September.”  Tom said.  “During Big Iron’s International Program, Robert Gorter visits with many of our NDTO members, learning about each company and what they have to offer the buyers in Uruguay.  This kind of long term relationship building between the NDTO members and the Uruguayan buyers is what brings success in these types of markets.  You just can’t go in one year and never return.”

Uruguay’s six percent (6%) average GDP growth per year for the past seven (7) years, coupled with successful crop seasons and subsequent  strong commodity prices make the region an especially attractive market for North Dakota exporters.

Opportunities abound in Uruguay’s Agribusiness industry; Uruguayan farmers are investing heavily in the renewal of their stock of agriculture machinery and equipment.  U.S. brands lead the market, yet much of the important equipment is manufactured in Brazil.  Agricultural machinery is importer duty free, and there is a strong demand for pre-owned and refurbished machinery. 

In addition to agriculture machinery, Uruguay is also interested in developing their beef feedlot operations.  South America, like the world, wants more beef on their plates.  The majority of current Uruguayan beef is pasture fed, which can limit the amount of cattle Uruguay can raise.  Feed lot operations would allow Uruguay to increase their beef availability to serve their own needs as well as other areas of South America.

For machinery, the U.S. Commercial Service has identified opportunities in:

  • Combines and other Harvesting systems (used and refurbished)
  • Data collection, such as GPS, yield monitoring, soil sampling, crop and field scouting, remote sensing technologies used to monitor soil properties and crop conditions.
  • Laser-controlled earth leveling machinery.
  • Computerized management systems (such as for livestock)
  • Grain storage – grain exports are booming!  Along with Storage buildings, silos, etc – prefabricated light, inexpensive farm storage
  • Augers and conveyors (chutes) to discharge harvested grain into storage devices; small grain dryers; grain storage.
  • Advanced turbine sprayers (and associated pumps).
  • Parts and accessories for tractors and harvesters.
  • Cultivators (harrows, tillage, plows, seeders, fertilizers, spreaders), balers, air-seeders.
  • Irrigation equipment.
  • Cattle breeding services, genetics, technologies.
  • Dairy processing equipment
  • Fertilizer raw materials

The Big Iron International Visitors program will host a delegation from Uruguay in September 2012 and will continue to cultivate a successful relationship with this growing market.

For more information on opportunities in Uruguay, contact Tom Wollin at tom@ndto.com