Costa Rica Forced to Import Cattle

The drastic decrease in the number of livestock has generated a significant increase in imports of cattle in order to satisfy the demand for beef.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Information from the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer), reveals that in 2012, Costa Rica imported 11 times more live cattle than in 2011.

Erick Quirós, senior director of regional operations at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), said that this drop in the number cattle is a consequence of the crisis of 2009 and the impact of climate change.

For slaughterhouses and meat marketers, the difference between domestic and imported animals is not significant, however, for the farmer and the consumer, increased imports of cattle could represent an increase in costs.

At the moment, for traders and industrialists it is more profitable to import than to buy domestic cattle. If local purchases drop, there will be less pressure on the slaughter of females of reproductive age, allowing recovery of the herd in the medium term.

Ileana Guillen, in charge of corporate relations at Montecillos, confirmed that since last year there has been a substantial decline in the national herd, but however, in their case, they have not had to import.

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