Argentina increased pork production to record heights in 2022

Argentina pork production
Photo: Senasa

Argentina increased its pork production with 3,9% in 2022, a record. The Argentinean Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries reported that the pig sector produced 723,388 tonnes of meat last year.

The volume of slaughtered animals also grew by 2,4%, to 7,666,022 during the same period. The trend was also visible at the beginning of this year, according to official data.

Pork export dropped

During the first 2 months of 2023, 1.2 million animals were processed. This number is 10.6% higher than in the same period last year, when 1.1 million pigs were processed. However, pork export dropped by 80%, to 9,400 tonnes in 2022. China significantly reduced its import from Argentina during the second semester. With more pork meat available, the pork consumption per capita increased by 6.1% in 2022. This is a new record.

“The recovery of external demand will put the pig sector on the path of growth. The new outbreaks of African Swine Fever in China could boost the export levels to those reached before the Covid-19 pandemic”, the report states.

Producing regions in Argentina

Córdoba recorded the highest number of animals for slaughter (341,000), followed by Buenos Aires (322,000); Santa Fe (196,000), Entre Ríos (107,000), and San Luis (61,000). These 5 regions house 88.4% of the total herd. This share has remained stable over the last 5 years. However, all provinces send pigs for slaughter to industrial plants in Argentina.

Average annual growth rate of 3.4%

Researchers Juan Manuel Garzón and Lautaro Sibilla, from the Institute of Studies (IERAL) of the Mediterranean Foundation, said the Argentinian pig production has been growing continuously in recent years. According to them, the country increases its pig production by an average annual rate of 3.4% in the period between 2018-2023. Currently, there are 414 slaughterhouses in Argentina, 104 of which slaughter cattle and pigs. Around 60 concentrate only on pigs, and around 250 focus on cattle.

An interesting case is Córdoba, where the vast majority of companies slaughter pigs and cattle. Of the companies that slaughter pigs, 82% process pigs and cattle. In Buenos Aires, these percentages are lower. Of the 40 establishments that slaughter pigs, only 48% are doubled.

Daniel Azevedo Freelance journalist Brazil