Paraguay’s meat exports totalled 285 million dollars in the first four months of the year, which makes it the second best four-months for the industry in recent years, said German Ruiz, head of the country’s Rural Association.
Paraguay meat exports were bashed in September 2011 and January 2012 because of outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, following a decade of no indications of the disease. Paraguay thus enjoyed the OIE status of free of FMD with vaccination.
“Until April we had exported meat to 23 countries”, said Ruiz who added that in spite of the FMD stigma demand has began to pickup after a 29% contraction.
“The recovery of the status free of FMD with vaccination is a challenge for Paraguay” pointed out Ruiz, who said that after months of frustration the outlook for the industry and cattle farmers is encouraging.
Ruiz added that Paraguay expects to recover the status of free of FMD with vaccination towards the end of 2012. The whole Agriculture ministry department in charge of the sanitary control of FMD was removed following the September outbreak.
Soybeans and beef are Paraguay’s main exports together with power from the huge Itaipu hydroelectric dam which the country shares with Brazil, but only absorbs 5% of the total output.