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Brazil and Paraguay are challenging Argentine producers. Who will win the battle for the Middle East yerba mate market?

2022-01-20
Brazil and Paraguay are challenging Argentine producers. Who will win the battle for the Middle East yerba mate market?

Although the export of yerba mate to Europe and the US is growing rapidly, the Middle East countries remain the main market for the so-called "green gold" outside of South America. So far, Argentine producers have had the largest share there. However, this may soon change due to competitors from Brazil and Paraguay offering mate tea at much lower prices. Who will be the winner in this confrontation? We analyze it in the latest blog entry!

Due to the great popularity of yerba mate, the Middle East, and in particular Syria, is one of Argentina's most important trading partners. So far, annual exports have reached an average of 30-35 million kilograms of raw material. However, this may soon change. Brazilian and Paraguayan companies are becoming bolder and bolder to fight for Arab consumers. It is possible that they will be very successful and eventually break the dominant position of their neighbors. They have a real ace up their sleeve - lower prices. The cost of importing one ton of Argentinean yerba mate is about US $ 2,200. Meanwhile, when buying from Brazil or Paraguay, it averages $ 1,400!

yerba mate middle east

Packets of yerba mate for the Middle Eastern market (source: culinarybackstreets.com)


According to La Nación, rising prices are already hitting Argentinean entrepreneurs today. According to Omar Cassab, the Syrian owner of a plantation in Misiones that specializes in exports to the Middle East, shipments abroad fell by around 40% last year. Despite extensive promotional activities and comprehensive support provided to producers by the National Yerba Mate Institute, price remains the main factor determining sales. And this one, taking into account the costs of labor, which are much higher there than in Paraguay and Brazil, is unlikely to fall.

As an online yerba mate store that imports goods from all three countries mentioned in the article, we have little influence on the factors determining their cost. Luckily, we have an abundance of Argentinian mate tea, and you will still get it at a consistently attractive price. And although it is possible that it will go up in the future, we assure you that we will do everything to ensure that our offer remains the most attractive on the market. And if you want, even in a symbolic way, to support yerbateros from Argentina, just visit the appropriate section in our store and find one of the mates there.

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