According to the organisation, March 2012 exports were 20% lower than last year in value, at US$71m, which can be explained by the closure of the Chilean market. In the first quarter, exports dropped 32%, from US$229m to US$155m.
Exports to Russia represented 77% of total March shipments, with US$55m, followed by Brazil, which registered a 202% rise in imports of Paraguayan meat for a total of US$10m. Hong Kong, Khazakstan, Gabon and Senegal also showed dynamism in the area.
CADEP pointed out the need to reform the industry, and questioned the validity of the Paraguayan membership in Mercosur, now that Argentina has implemented new import restrictions. It cited concerns over the fact that Paraguay is highly dependent on the alliance, economically and commercially, but has the lowest level of development in the block of countries.
“In front of the multiplicity of factors that affect our competitiveness, we need a long-term strategy agreed between all the economic players involved, which prioritises the actions and goals most appropriate for each and every one of them and, more importantly, we need to implement it in a realistic and achievable way.
“The strategy should promote the resources available to the country, mainly in areas that have experience and added value. Paraguay’s challenge is to define its course on the basis of competitiveness, to achieve sustainable economic growth, job creation with high income and long-term prosperity,” CADEP said.