Cattle Export to Decline in 2023, But It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds
The export of cattle from Belize to Mexico is looking to slow down this year. This decrease is the result of a combination of factors, which includes the decline in demand from Mexican buyers and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on commercial activity. Last December saw the largest number of cattle being exported to Mexico since the fifteen percent import duty on cattle was waived for Belizean Livestock Farmers. That shipment was a total of four hundred and ninety heads of cattle valued at $650,000 in comparison to January 2023, with the first shipment tallying about one hundred and sixty heads which generated a total of $230,877. However, the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Servulo Baeza, explains that there are some positive outcomes for the cattle industry from this downtrend.
Servulo Baeza, CEO, Ministry of Agriculture: “At that time we exported about 35,000 heads but it was because remember the markets were closed, we couldn’t export so farmers had an excess we could say so we had that surplus. So when we got in and we opened back up the markets that surplus went out and we had over 35,000 heads being exported. I think this year we will have over 20,000 I would want to think between 25-26,000 heads still exported this year. We’ve had quite a few number of things though that have affected that in terms of our exports, not bad things good things. The weather has been more amenable last year it was raining more so farmers didn’t have that distress that their pastures were depleting and they had to hurry sell. Secondly the price has gone up so the more you hold your cattle and fatten it the more money you’ll make so all of these things are slowing down some of the trade in terms of cattle. But we still believe that our farmers will have a pretty good year this year.”