Cattle production in Laos accelerates driven by demand from China


A railway that is planned to start operation in December is expected to facilitate live cattle exports.

Posted on Oct 26 ,05:03

Cattle production in Laos accelerates driven by demand from China

Laos, the smallest cattle supplier in the Chinese market (1%), plans to grow the national herd as the neighboring country has already granted a quota of 500,000 cattle. Furthermore, a railway between the two countries is about to be inaugurated in December facilitating live cattle exports for Laotian farmers. The Lao government is encouraging farmers in all 18 provinces across the Southeast Asian country to breed cattle for export driven by growing demand from China, the local daily Vientiane Times informed last week.
Recently, the livestock department under the Lao agriculture ministry held a virtual meeting to discuss cattle production projects with officials and business people nationwide. Department Director Vilayphone Voraphim told at the meeting that the Lao government plans to produce at least 50,000 cattle annually. In June, the agriculture ministry ordered relevant departments to do more to boost cattle farming, encouraging private operators to raise more cattle for export to China.
Currently, one of the main challenges to the Lao government's plan to boost cattle production is the regular outbreak of livestock diseases, especially foot and mouth disease, which is common in Laos. During the summer, a network of village veterinarians was created across the country to teach farmers and producers how to vaccinate their livestock and comply with all the set standards.
Live cattle exports has become a hot topic for some of the main suppliers in the Chinese market - New Zealand and Australia - and shipments from NZ are expected to stop in 2023, while Aussie cattle exports are slowing down due to animal welfare concerns. The decision to stop live cattle exports announced by New Zealand's government may benefit other countries such as Uruguay. The South American country may take of NZ's market share in the Chinese market, according to a Bloomberg interview with Agriculture Minister Carlos Maria Uriarte. "Even though we are much further away, which makes us less competitive, the export of live cattle to China, in particular, grew a lot in the last year. We are going to have new opportunities," he said.
Turkey, Iraq and Egypt have been the main markets for Uruguayan cattle in the last 5 years. In 2018, exports have peaked at $271 million but since then have dropped by 50%.

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