In the first 6 months of 2023, Paraguay multiplied its pork exports with a factor 6. The main reason is the opening of Taiwan’s market last year. This pushed sales from 2,480 tonnes to 14,880 tonnes between January and June 2023.
Since the authorisation of the Asian country, Paraguay strongly increased shipments, according to the report of the National Animal Health and Quality Service (Senacsa).
48% of Paraguayan exports went to Taiwan, 37% to Uruguay, 14% to Georgia and 1% to the Ivory Coast, totalling US$ 6.53 million. José Carlos Martin, Senacsa’s president, projects 2023 might be a landmark for the Paraguayan pig industry.
The best year for this sector thus far was 2018, with 5,203 tonnes of meat and cuts, amounting to US$ 11.7 million, from January to December. In that year, pig meat shipments were 98% to Russia and 2% to Vietnam.
The Association of Pig Breeders of Paraguay (ACCP) is seeking new markets abroad and the next potential target is Chile, which has a large demand for this protein. After the authorisation of the Taiwanese market, Chile showed interest in importing Paraguayan production, explained Jorge Ramírez, ACCP’s president. “The Chilean market is the most demanding we have in our geographical area,” he told to local press.
However, the qualification for this market will require several sanitary advances and agreements between both countries. “We need to have a specific health status, which is free from Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) without vaccination”, he admitted. Paraguay is free of FMD with vaccination, however, the ACCP is working to set up small geographical and demographic production “compartments,” which can give special status to some specific regions.
Chile imports around 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes per year. “Exporting to the Chilean market would help the Paraguayan pork sector,” said Ramírez.
The Latin American country increased production by 250.1% (22,906 to 80,600 tonnes) and grew its per capita consumption by 550% (from 2 to 11 kg) between 2011 and 2022. “We estimate that consumption per capita will grow 1.5 kg more this year because myths about pork are collapsing”, says Ramirez. “Moreover, it is much more affordable than beef, which historically has always been number one in our country.” Paraguay has around 7 million inhabitants which means a significant goal to its pig sector to sustain development during upcoming years.