Source: South America Overseas Newspaper Author: Gao Li Yue
Data recently released by the Costa Rican National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) and the National Livestock Company (Corfoga) show that beef prices increased by 2.03 percent in April this year from a year earlier.
The Costa Rican newspaper La Nación reported on April 15 that Jorge Segura, coordinator of the National Livestock Program of the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), analyzed that the factors that influenced the price increase included the decrease in the supply of beef (fewer calves were born and fewer beef imports) and the increase in market demand.
Some analysts believe that the massive export of beef has had an impact on domestic beef prices in Costa Rica. In the case of China, for example, data from the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (Procomer) show that Costa Rica’s beef exports to China increased from $59.4 million in 2020 to $91.6 million in 2021, with exports increasing from 16,355 tons to 20,290 tons.
The increase in exports has been accompanied by a decrease in the number of cattle, with INEC statistics showing that the number of beef cattle in Costa Rica decreases from about 1,024,000 in 2019 to 894,000 in 2020.
Since 2019, fewer females than bulls have been born and calf births have declined as a result. For example, there were 119,300 female births and 121,100 bulls in 2019, 103,600 female births, and 105,400 bulls in 2020.
Leonardo Murillo, head of Corfoga’s research and communications department, said the reduction in calf births in 2020 affects the number of adult cattle in 2022, with supply shortages driving prices higher.
In addition, a number of females are slaughtered and sold during pregnancy, which limits the number of beef cattle. According to Campos, a portion of beef cattle farmers, especially small ones, do not know if the cows they sell are pregnant. Luis?ngel Alfaro, president of the Costa Rican Livestock Auction Association, said that about 140,000 pregnant cows are slaughtered in Costa Rica each year.