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Growth Expected in Colombia's Beef, Chicken Output

by 5m Editor
11 August 2009, at 8:13a.m.

COLOMBIA - The growth in beef production is expected to slow in the coming years, while poultry meat output is predicted to continue growth.

BMI's Colombia Agribusiness Report for Q3 2009 introduces the new Livestock Outlook, according to companiesandmarkets. Growth in Colombia's beef production has been distinctly unimpressive over the past three decades. Through the 1960s and 1970s beef production more than doubled reaching 664,000 tonnes in 1980. With the exception of a few unsustained spikes, production stayed around that level until the middle of this decade. In the past few years, growth has taken off again. From 2004 to 2008, beef production grew 25.4 per cent to 840,000 tonnes. The recent expansion in the production has been driven by a combination of healthy economic growth and the success of President Alvaro Uribe's Democratic Security Policy. The improvement of the security situation has made investors more willing to pump money into expanding production and has also opened up new land previously considered too risky.

The world economic slowdown will likely put a stop to the rapid growth in beef production for the time being as consumers are forced to cut their food budgets and demand for beef falls. Beyond the current turmoil, however, production is predicted to pick up once again as Colombians have more money to spend on food. Beef consumption in Colombia at around 13kg in 2008 is still low by Latin American standards, suggesting there is plenty of room for growth.

While cattle farming was stagnant through the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia's poultry sector took off. From 1985 to 2005, poultry production expanded more than five-fold. With production in 2008 at just over one million tonnes, poultry has now overtaken beef as Colombia's most significant meat product on a volume basis. Far less land intensive than cattle farming, poultry production has been able to prosper despite the insurgencies raging in much of the countryside. Demand has also been driven by the lower price for chicken when compared to beef.

Production is likely to continue growing as larger, more efficient producers develop. Away from livestock, 2009 looks set to be a poor year for Colombian agriculture. Unusually heavy rains in the latter months of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 have seen yields fall in some of the country's key crops, including coffee.

Further Reading

- You can purchase the report by clicking here.