Paraguay looking ahead to a promising year for beef exports and cattle ranching
Abattoirs in Paraguay during January slaughtered 73% more cattle than a year ago indicating strong demand both from overseas and local markets, but also the end of restrictions because of the foot and mouth disease outbreaks that last year knocked out the land locked country from foreign markets.
During last January the total number of cattle slaughtered was 123.640, up from 70.110 a year ago according to stats from the Paraguayan Rural Association, ARP. Of that total 121.125 head were destined for beef export. The very low number for local consumption can be explained because the market is supplied mainly by county slaughterhouses and abattoirs non-certified for export.
Paraguay reported two outbreaks of FMD, one in late 2011 and the second in early 2012 which meant the number of cattle sent to abattoirs dropped to 66.000, February a year ago, but gradually climbed along the following months, averaging 100.000 head of cattle to end the year with a total beef export equivalent to 1.05 billion dollars.
This year has taken off with even better prospects (up 73% in January) and if the over 110.000 monthly average can be sustained according to ARP, exports could again signal a record year in volume and income. Paraguay has already started negotiations to recover the Chilean market (now mainly supplied by Brazil) and to increase sales to Russia, the country’s two main clients.
The ARP report indicates that last year the meat export industry slaughtered 1.239.339 cattle, of which only 40.229 for local consumption and the rest for export. This year taking off with 121.000 and if sustained with a monthly average above 110.000, the total number of cattle slaughtered could reach 1.3 million equivalent to 10% of the country’s total cattle herd.