Santo Domingo, DR.
Between January and July 2021, more than 2.4 million tonnes of agricultural products were imported worth more than $ 2.3 billion, according to available statistics 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 have also been imported from abroad; vegetables, roots and tubers; fruits; citrus peels (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 plant 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; bakery products; vegetable preparations; tobacco and processed tobacco substitutes; among others.
The figures show that both volume and value, with slight variations, continued to increase during the year. While in January 310,640 tonnes of goods were imported for an amount of US $ 269,670,001, in July the amount rose to US $ 412,242 and US $ 349,987,950, respectively.
In early August, the government authorized the import of chickens to meet 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 know the increase in imports, it was not possible to obtain this information.
The numbers could continue to rise as this month the government will allow free importation of chickens to keep prices stable, Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz said this week.
The most imported products
Among the most imported products in July were cereals, seeds and various fruits; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder; animal or vegetable fats and oils; processed edible fats; animal or vegetable wax; beverages, alcoholic liquids and vinegar; residues and waste from the food industry; prepared animal feed; and others.
The Sector Panorama of July 2021, recently published by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD), revealed that during this month, the volume of production of agricultural products registered an increase of year on year in general terms of 1.5%, where increased production of milkweed (5.9%), pineapple (4.5%), watermelon (6.3%) , coconut (3.2%) and rice (4.3%) stand out.
However, the report records 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 fell by 8.7%; and pork, which fell 2.6%.
Likewise, during the month indicated, the production of pulses fell by 14.7%, peanuts by 3.5%, vegetables by 3.2%, other grains by 2.8%, other tubers by 1.1% and other fruits 0.6%.
In contrast, chicken production increased 9.4% and egg production by 5.5%. There have also been increases for pumpkin, sour lemons, potatoes, vegetables, among other crops.