The country imported US$2.3 billion worth of agricultural products from January to July

Santo Domingo, DR.

Between January and July 2021, more than 2.4 million tons of agricultural products were imported for an amount exceeding 2.3 billion dollars, according to statistics available from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Imported items include live animals; meat and edible offal; fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates; milk and dairy products; poultry eggs; natural honey; Food for animals; and cereals.

Floriculture products were also imported from abroad; vegetables, roots and tubers; fruits; citrus zest (citrus fruits, melons or watermelons); coffee, tea, yerba mate and spices; milling products; malt; starch; inulin; wheat gluten; seeds; plants; straw and fodder.

Imports also included gums, resins, and other vegetable juices and extracts; animal or vegetable fats and oils; processed edible fats; animal or vegetable wax; sugars and confectionery; cocoa and cocoa preparations; preparations made from cereals, flour, starch, starch or milk; baked goods; vegetable preparations; tobacco and processed tobacco substitutes; among others.

To augment
The figures show that volume and value, with slight variations, continued to increase during the year. While in January 310,640 tons of goods were imported for an amount of US$269,670,001, in July the amount increased to US$412,242 and US$349,987,950, respectively.

In early August, the government authorized the import of chickens to meet the increased demand due to the decline in pork consumption caused by African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

Although data was requested from the Ministry of Agriculture for that month to see how much imports had increased, it was not possible to obtain this information.

The numbers could continue to rise as this month the government will allow free imports of chickens to keep prices stable, Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz said this week.

The most imported products
Among the most imported products in July are cereals, seeds and various fruits; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder; animal or vegetable fats and oils; processed dietary fats; animal or vegetable wax; beverages, alcoholic liquids and vinegar; residues and waste from the food industry; prepared food for animals; and others.

Local manufacturing
The July 2021 Sector Panorama, recently published by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), revealed that during this month the production volume of agricultural goods recorded an increase of year-over-year in general terms of 1.5%, where the increase in production of milkweed (5.9%), pineapple (4.5%), watermelon (6.3%) , coconut (3.2%) and rice (4.3%) stands out.

However, the report notes that animal production decreased by 3.1% compared to the same month of the previous year, mainly due to the reduction in beef production, which fell by 13.1%; milk, which decreased by 8.7%; and pork, which fell 2.6%.

Similarly, in the month shown, the production of pulses fell by 14.7%, groundnuts by 3.5%, vegetables by 3.2%, other cereals by 2.8%, other tubers 1.1% and other fruits 0.6%.

On the other hand, chicken production increased by 9.4% and egg production by 5.5%. There were also increases in pumpkins, sour lemons, potatoes, vegetables, among other crops.

Amalia H. Mercado