Between January and October the numbers of cattle slaughtered remained almost unchanged compared to the same period in 2014, while pork production recorded an increase of 5%.
The effects of climate influenced the results of beef production, mainly during the first half of the year. Representatives of the union of producers anticipate that next year they will be "... taking forecasts to reduce the impact of drought and trying to encourage more forage crops, among them grass, sugarcane, sorghum and maize that yield larger reserves of food for cattle. "
Industrial and milk producers have denounced that there is a growing presence in the region of products which are described as dairy but which do not contain milk nor comply with health regulations.
Ranchers, farmers and representatives of industrial companies reported the matter to the Panamanian Food Safety Authority (Aupsa), arguing that "... in the local market food products such as ice cream and cheeses can be seen, which instead of having dairy components, are processed with other raw material and substitutes that are not permitted by Panamanian health and import regulations.
Price controls placed on some cuts of meat have altered the prices of other cuts not included in the measure, distorting the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer.
The intention to control the prices of some food products does not seem to show results in the meat sector, as final prices and production costs have been altered for several reasons, including the decision by producers to reduce their shipments of regulated cuts to supermarkets and increase exports to other markets, so as to not reduce their profits.
Farmers and industrialists are opposed to the possibility of including fluid milk in the list of products whose prices are controlled by the government.
Industry representatives argue that if the product is included in the list, "... small retailers will not want to handle our product," said Ricardo Sotelo, president of the Union of Industrialists of Panama to Panamaamerica.com.pa.
Entrepreneurs in both sectors celebrated the exclusion of these products from the Free Trade Agreement between Panama and Mexico.
Entrepreneurs in the National Cattlemen's Association (Anagan) and the Pig Breeders Association of Panama (Anapor) welcomed the decision in the FTA negotiations that took into account the request to withdraw these products from the Treaty.
The National Cattlemen's Association is negotiating sending a shipment every three months of 1,500 high genetic quality cattle to the South American country.
In January, the National Cattlemen's Association (Anagan) sent a proposal to the directors of Agrobanco of Peru to negotiate the sale of cattle to farms in Panama. Anagan's deal involves sending 1,500 cattle of high genetic quality every three months to the South American nation.
Negotiations have started for the sale of 300 cattle per week to supply the Chinese colonies established in the region.
The company China National Fisheries has shown interest in acquiring Panamanian meat which will be destined for consumption in Chinese colonies residing in Central America and South America, better known as overseas Chinese.
The system will allow tracing of the animals journey from birth until it is slaughtered and will open the way for exports to Europe.
Prensa.com reports: "The bills 342, which establishes the National LivestockTraceability Program, and 677, which creates the Promotion and Modernizing of Agriculture and Agribusiness (Promagro), were approved on their third reading in the National Assembly."
During the first six months of 2013 193,438 cattle were slaughtered, 16,094 animals less than in the same period in 2012.
According to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (Anagan), the decline in the livestock supply is due to the harsh dry season which affected the country earlier this year, because reserves of food and water ran out quickly. The decrease was greater in males than in females.
The implementation of the system can no longer be delayed without undermining agricultural exports to the European Union.
Oscar Osorio, the Minister of Agriculture, hopes that the bill on Agricultural and Animal Traceability will be approved in three months, enabling the country to meet the international demand and thereby ensure food security. However, this project is not even on the agenda for discussion by the Panamanian Congress.