ANALYSIS – Paraguay’s historically high beef exports this year will strengthen, breaking records in 2015, market analysts are predicting.
Strong export performance is expected to reach 360,000 tonnes next year, supported by greater availability and firm demand.
If achieved, exports will maintain a run through 2014 which has seen shipments lift 14 per cent from January to the end of September.
Forecasts put next year's beef exports at record levels in 2015, reaching 360,000 tonnes, said the US Department of Agriculture in a recent GAIN report.
This will coincide with a 500,000 head increase in the national cattle herd, taking numbers from 14.5 million to 15 million.
So far in 2014, total volume exported has reached 200,891 tonnes after a record September saw over 28 per cent more beef exported than the year before, official statistics show.
Government policy is aimed at pushing more beef abroad, as this is ‘much more profitable’, the Ministry of Agriculture said at the unveiling of a small holder support programme.
Bullish figures for future Chinese demand underpin the investment.
The programme concentrates on developing smallholder farms, giving technical guidance to farms with herds of one to twenty, working on the principle that it is more lucrative if vegetable protein is turned into animal protein and exported.
Agriculture minister Jorge Gattini said: “Agribusiness is the mainstay of the country – 70 per cent of Paraguay’s exports come from the agriculture business.”
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) analysts say that, as well as Paraguay's shipped volume being higher, the range of markets is expanding.
“Russia has remained the major destination for 2014, with shipments slightly (1 per cent) higher year-on-year, totalling 104,983 tonnes swt, while export prices gained 6 per cent, averaging $4.12/kg”, an MLA spokesperson said.
“Exports to Chile rebounded for the same period, at 34,933 tonnes swt, followed by Brazil, up 33 per cent, and Hong Kong, up 51 per cent)."