Livestock: Encouraging Forecasts in Nicaragua

Because the level of rainfall forecast for the winter is expected to favor livestock activity, entrepreneurs in the sector expect local production of meat and milk to grow during 2021.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Experts predict that this year's winter conditions will lead to an increase in green pasture for cattle. This factor will boost milk and meat production.

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Álvaro Vargas, president of the Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (Upanic) told that "... 'the increases in last year's production are due to the fact that there was a good winter and that in the humid areas it rained throughout the summer'," similar case is expected to occur in 2021.

Data from the Government of Nicaragua highlights that during 2020 beef production amounted to 336 million pounds, a volume that exceeds by 3% what was reported in 2019. In the case of milk, production during last year amounted to 381 million gallons, 6% more than what was computed in 2019.

See "Beef: Central American Sales Up 16%"

Vargas added that adequate rainfall levels "... have a positive effect on three elements: you have more pregnancy in cattle, availability of pastures product of cool winters and summers, and also, in the case of meat, I think Nicaragua is approaching that half of male animals slaughtered in the industries come from feedlots, which causes each animal to generate between 20 and 50 percent more meat and also, an increase in exports."

Research by CentralAmericaData explains that from January to June 2020, the trade of milk and dairy products between Central American countries totaled $183 million, 19% more than what was registered in the same period 2019.

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Livestock: Exports up 16%

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In Nicaragua, from January to July of this year, exports of livestock products totaled $449 million, 16% more than reported for the same period in 2019, mainly due to increased sales of beef.

Figures from the Export Processing Center (Cetrex) indicate that between January and July 2019 and the same period this year, foreign sales of livestock products increased from $388 million to $449 million.

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The barriers imposed by the Honduran and Panamanian markets, coupled with the negative effect of the recent tax reform, force Nicaraguan cattle ranchers to predict a bleak future.

Figures from the National Livestock Commission of Nicaragua (Conagan) specify that between 2017 and 2018 meat exports from Nicaragua fell by 7.9%, from $587 million to $541 million, and in the case of dairy, the fall was 8.4%, going down from $177 million to $162 million.

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Domestic milk consumption is growing at 3.9% annually, while exports in 2010 reached $74 million, compared to $49 million sold abroad in 2008.

The country ranks third in Latin America in per capita consumption with 199 liters per year, according to the Chamber of National Milk Producers (NCPC in Spanish).

Nicaraguan Livestock Sector Exports Increase 30%

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In the first six months of the year foreign sales of meat, dairy products and livestock from Nicaragua reached $234.5 million.

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Ronald Blandón, CEO of Nicaraguan cattle farming association, CONAGAN, told that, “2010 looks like being a year of growth for our sector. The outlook for all livestock products is positive with growth of 8% forecast”.