Infant milk formula and yogurt are the derivatives which recorded the highest increases in demand between September 2015 and August 2016, compared to the same period last year.
The figures presented in the National Dairy Congress in Costa Rica, held in October, indicate that demand for dairy products grew at a rate of 6.5% last year, driven by increased demand for products such as yogurt in its different presentations, milk formula and cheese, among things.
The Guatemalan company Castillo Hermanos has acquired 100% of the equity interest of Sociedad Alimentos de Primera, a manufacturer of the Bonlac brand of dairy products in Panama.
Corporación Castillo Hermanos will now participate in the dairy market in Panama, through Sociedad Alimentos de Primera S.A., which until recently was owned by the Panamanian company Empresa Panameña de Alimentos S.A
Milk and meat producers have reported discrepancies between the prices paid by slaughterhouses and international market prices.
The Federation of Livestock in Nicaragua (Faganic), the National Union of Agricultural Producers in Nicaragua (UPANIC), and the Nicaraguan Chamber of the Milk Sector (CANISLAC) have reported that four slaughterhouses are distorting the local market by allegedly paying prices that are lower than international prices.
Formalizing the sector and improving the implementation of sanitary measures would make it possible to exploit the export potential and take advantage of growing international demand.
It has been reported that there are 37 cheese processing plants certified by the Institute of Animal and Plant Health Protection (IPSA), 36 of which make cheese for export.Figures from the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData com indicate thatin 2015 Nicaragua led the export of milk and milk productsin the region, with $200 million worth of products sold.The country's dairy export potential can be better exploited in order to improve sales of cheese abroad.
A local problem between Honduran farmers and pasteurizing plants due to the price at which they purchase milk could be the reason behind the block on Nicaraguan dairy products.
Trinchera.com.ni reports that according to the National Federation of Ranchers and Farmers of Honduras (FENAGH), closing the border to milk and dairy products from Nicaragua will continue until there is a resolution to the problem between pasteurizing plants and dairy farmers, who have denounced the low prices paid for the product in plants.
It is estimated that "the worst of the crisis" in international milk prices could be ending this year, with better levels starting to be established in 2017.
In an event held in Managua, experts from the Pan American Dairy Federation (FEPALE), explained the trend seen in the international price of milk and the effect it has had on exports from countries such as Nicaragua, which ranks as the fourth largest exporter of milk and dairy products in Latin America.
The Costa Rican company Dos Pinos has confirmed that it has received verbal authorization to export its products to the neighboring country, with a written endorsement being imminent.
The milk cooperative Dos Pinos may have solved the nonconformity issues that led to the Nicaraguan Institute for Health and Agricultural Protection preventing entry of dairy products from this company to the local market.
In 2015 Nicaragua led exports of milk and milk products in the region, with $200 million in sales, followed by Costa Rica, which exported $111 million and thirdly Honduras, with $26 million.
Data from for the Milk and Dairy Products Market in Central America, provided by the Business Intelligence unit at CentralAmericaData.com, shows that in 2015 the countries in the region exported 226 thousand tons of milk and dairy products such as cheese and cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, curd and dairy spreads, among others.
Complaints are being made over the sampling process used to verify product quality which is causing delays, forcing goods to be kept at the border for up to 15 days.
The union of the dairy sector in Nicaragua says that the waiting time for the results of the quality test is not supposed to be more than 8 days, but when samples are sent which were taken from El Amatillo to San Salvador, the process is much longer.
The health authorities have announced that they have reached an agreement, but no dates or deadlines have been set to resume sales of the product between the two countries.
Theagreement announcedby the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica and theInstitute for Protection and Agricultural in Nicaragua only mentions assessments to be made in plants belonging to the companies Dos Pinos and Grupo Lala, but does not mention dates on which they will be carried out or deadlines for the resumption of bilateral trade in milk.
In Nicaragua evaluation will be given to the solutions proposed by Dos Pinos regarding noncompliance detected in the plant and Costa Rica will be provided with a list of suppliers to LALA dairy farms that meet the standards.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Costa Rica:
After two days of work between the technical teams of the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Institute for Protection and Animal Health (IPSA) in Nicaragua, Nicaragua and Costa Rica have reached an agreement on resolving the issues of noncompliance found in dairy plants in both countries.