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Despite the increase in exports, there will be no shortage of meat in the domestic market

In a global scenario of sustained demand and high prices for the meat that Uruguay exports, with good expectations for the coming months, the vice president of INAC, Guido Machado, assured The Observer that there will be enough meat to supply the domestic market. “We are going to have absolute availability to cover the demand of the internal marketwhich is also supplied with imports from Brazil and Paraguay,” he said.

In the first quarter of the year, Uruguay had higher revenues than in previous similar periods (54% more than in 2021), for US$ 1,156 million based on the export of all meats; at the same time, the bovine slaughter showed the best figures of the last four years, with an increase of 13.3% compared to the same period last year; and although the internal consumption of bovine meat decreased, that of poultry meat increased.

These data were part of the information released this Thursday by the INAC, at its headquarters in the Old City, where records for the first quarter of 2022 were presented.

Foreign demand for Uruguayan meat is strongmainly from China, where 60% of beef is exported, but Machado is confident that “we are going to manage it in the best way.”

The biggest job of the last four years

In the first four months of this year, 886,436 cattle were slaughtered104 thousand head more than in the same period of 2021, and 287 thousand more than in 2020.

The main increase in slaughter was seen in the category of young steers (66 thousand heads more than in the same period of 2021) and in eight-toothed cows (30 thousand more heads). Heifers also stood out with a slaughter of 24 thousand heads more than the accumulated in that period in 2021.

From the INAC they explained that the historical slaughter structure was maintained: 48% steers, 37% cows and 13% heifers.

INAC authorities presented data for the first quarter.

Meat Substitution Policy

With the rise in prices of beef, its consumption has decreased and other meats, such as poultry and pork, are being chosen. “Obviously there is a meat substitution policy”commented the vice president of the institute, who explained that both poultry and pork “make the family basket of products look sustained”.

The INAC closely follows the variation in prices of different meats, he stressed.

Recently, the institute reported on a recovery in meat consumption in the domestic market, which occurred in 2021, breaking a downward trend that began in 2018.

“It is important that the purchasing power of Uruguayans rises to be able to fully comply with what it does to a basic basket, which I hope will be enriched by a higher level of animal protein,” he said.

The upward trend in beef values ​​is explained by a high demand from international markets. Machado stated that Uruguayan beef has become “a star product”and that this situation has to be taken advantage of by Uruguayan producers, who can value it to have “the best levels of placement in the best markets in the world.”

“Agriculture is experiencing a magical moment, because really all products have enormous value”he concluded.

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