Beef exports from Uruguay fell around 6 percent in volume in 2010, the government-run beef institute said, adding that meat shipments from the world’s No. 7 supplier should be steady this year.

At the same time, Uruguay’s beef exports rose 16.3 percent in value year-on-year to $1.13 billion due to higher meat prices in 2010, said the National Beef Institute (INAC).

In volume terms, shipments from the South American country fell 6.1 percent to 366,421 tons.

“We foresee similar volumes in 2011. It’s not easy to increase the volume ... but we expect interesting prices again that will stimulate investment,” said Pablo Caputi, an economic analyst for INAC.

The leading buyers of Uruguayan beef last year were the European Union, Russia and the South American Mercosur trade bloc. (Reuters)