(Photo: Proietto anticipated to eFarmNewsAr.com that ArgenPork will participate at the SIAL Shanghai 2019)

Buenos Aires, April 30th. Argentina is still a modest global pork producer, despite its firm growing in the last fifteen years. In 2018 6.8 million head were slaughtered and meat production (carcass weight equivalent) climbed to 620K tons, versus 1.8 million and 158K tons respectively in 2003.

In the last years, pork meat domestic consumption steadily increased to more than 15 kg/year/capita in 2018, substituting beef consumption as this meat is strongly exported.

But pork export still remains marginal. During 2018 only 23K tons (product weight) were exported, mainly non-food products. However, the good news was that Argentina started to export frozen carcass, mainly to Russia, in a consistent way.“We are slaughtering 8/9,000 heads per month to destinate them to the export”, summarizes Guillermo Proietto, coordinator of the ArgenPork consortium, formed by 18 local pork farms.

“This represents around 800 tons exported per month, mainly as half carcasses and sliced cuts and headed mainly to Russia; other destinations are Hong Kong, Africa, and Caribbean countries”, Proietto adds.

Most of the largest pork farms in the country are part of the consortium like AGD (Aceitera General Deheza), Cabaña Argentina (Pacuca), Isowean and Tierra Greda between others.

Although Argentina has a limited capability to increase its pork offer to the foreign markets, Proietto is enthusiastic about the opening of the Chinese market and its impact on the local chain supply. “It is a great new, clearly. I think that before the end of the year, Argentina will be exporting pork meat to the Asian country”, he says to eFarmNewsAr.com.“The opening the Chinese market will bring large investments to the pork chain in Argentina”, an enthusiastic Proietto says.

Last week, Agro-Industry secretary Luis Miguel Etchevehere, headed a mission to China to talk about bilateral commerce. When he was returned, this Monday 29th, he accompanied President Mauricio Macri to visit La Pompeya slaughterhouse, where they announced the opening of the Chinese market and the habilitation –in a first stage- of three plants to export pork meat to China: La Pompeya, Campo Austral (owned by Cabaña Argentina) and Paladini (which does not form part of ArgenPork).

“We hope that we will destine 12/13,000 heads per month to the export if the Chinese market is active for the Argentine pork, which represents 50% increase for the current volume, or 1,200 tons”, Proietto affirms. He adds that ArgenPork will participate at the Sial Shangai 2019 fair, next month.