Argentinian farmers have set their sights on China, with more meat plants authorised to export as China looks to switch protein sources in the wake of African swine fever (ASF).
Eight more Argentinian beef plants were approved for export, following seven poultry establishments being granted approval.
Luis Miguel Etchevehere, Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, said they were working for a greater number of meat plants to be granted access ‘very soon’.
China has also granted approval for the first seven soyabean milling plants to export after the market was opened to Argentinian exporters for the first time.
Chinese demand has been the driver behind increased exports of Argentinian beef.
Between January and August, almost 500,000 tonnes were exported, with 350,000t going to China.
According to the Argentine Association of Producers and Exporters, the need for China to increase its protein supply as a result of the pig losses from ASF has led to the entry of chilled and in-bone meat in 2019.
Previously, only boneless frozen cuts could be exported.
While domestic consumption still made up most Argentinian production, even cuts which were traditionally popular in Argentina, such as ribs, were being shipped to China.
This year it was estimated Argentine exports of beef would reach 720,000t.
Paraguay was also looking to China, with the Paraguayan Association of Meat Producers and Exporters (APPEC) appealing to the Government to find a way to open a commercial relationship without affecting diplomatic issues with Taiwan.
With local prices dropping, the Paraguayan industry was calling for exports to supplement demand.
APPEC president Fernando Serrati said the external problem was Paraguay was not accessing the main global markets, especially China.
He said: “There is a diplomatic problem, which we understand, but they also have to understand we need to be in China.”