AGRICULTURE REPORT

  • The availability of natural resources and production factors gives Uruguay comparative advantages in the production of food products. With more than 90% of its land suitable for agricultural activity, Uruguay is a reliable global supplier of food and agricultural products.
  • The agricultural sector accounts for 6% to 7% of GDP in Uruguay (2015-2019). When including the associated sub-sectors and industries, it is usually referred to as the agro-industrial sector and its share ranges from 14% to 16% of GDP (2015-2019). 
  • In the 2021-2022 season, the total cultivated area increased by 14% year-on-year. As a result, agricultural land reached 94% of its all-time high, mainly due to the momentum of soybeans, the growth of rapeseed (which doubled its planted area in the last two years) and the expansion of barley, with smaller contributions from rice (which began to recover area) and corn.
  • The agro-industrial sector employed approximately 210,000 people (2021), accounting for 13% of the country’s employed population. Agriculture was responsible for 80,100 jobs including the industry associated with the sector.
  • In October 2020, a new regulation of the Investment Law (No. 16,906) came into force, with a positive impact on the number of projects and investment amounts submitted, changing the decreasing trend of previous years. In fact, projects linked to the agro-industrial sector increased from an average of 60 between 2015 and 2019 to more than 500 projects in 2021.
  • Agro-industrial exports accounted for 80% of total exports of goods in 2021 by reaching USD 9,070 million and registering a 39% increase in the year-on-year comparison. Within these, agricultural goods totaled USD 2,415 million, a 21% increase. Soybeans, wheat, and unprocessed barley were the main products with a positive impact on external sales in 2021.
  • The increase in reference agricultural prices in the international market is being decisive for a further increase in surface area in the 2022-2023 season.

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