CCTV-News / CNTV
China to import cows from Uruguay 中国百科
June 24, 2012
China to import cows from Uruguay
06-24-2012 15:55 BJT
China will soon receive tens of thousands of "cows" from Uruguay. It's importing the animals to bolster its domestic milk production. Currently, only three countries have been granted the exporting rights to China.
Newborn cows graze slowly on this farm in southern Uruguay. These heifers won't be here forever, though - soon they'll make their way to China, part of one of the largest cattle drives in history.
Since 2009, China has been importing Uruguayan dairy cows in an effort to revamp its dairy industry following a tainted milk scandal. By the end of this year, Uruguayan exporters will have sent 40,000 cows to China.
Enrique Delfante, cow exporter, says, "We have the good quality cattle that produce very well for the Chinese producer, and we also have a health status which is one of the best in the world, that is why there are only three countries that can export to China."
Australia and New Zealand are the others. But tiny Uruguay is the only western hemisphere country.
Growing Chinese demand for these Uruguayan cows has raised their prices and been a lucrative business for many farmers here, but it has also raised concerns in some circles about the future of Uruguay's dairy industry.
15 percent of Uruguay's heifer cows were sent to China last year-and their prices have increased 50% since exports began. Some worry that this influx could turn China into a milk industry rival. Plus, replenishing cow populations now comes with a higher cost to local farmers. But agronomist Hector Laca says that part is easy.
Agronomist Hector Laca, says, "You are not selling an asset that is not possible to re-create or to create a new one. You still have the cows, you are exporting the heifers. A cow gives birth each year to a female or male cow, so at the end you are going to produce again."
Uruguay's rich soil makes all its farm products popular worldwide, and the government says it stands ready to weather any market storms.
Roberto Hudson, Uruguay Agriculture Ministry, says, "Uruguay is an exporting country. And we know that exports come in cycles, and prices fluctuate. When one country fills their needs, another one always comes around to us."
And for now, China will continue to buy these Uruguayan cows to satisfy its thirst for milk.
China, Uruguay pledge to deepen trade ties, legislature exchanges 2012-06-24
Chinese Premier visits Uruguay 2012-06-23
Exclusive interview: Uruguay's ambassador to China, Rosario Portell 2012-06-23
Mad cow disease poses no threat to food supply in US 2012-04-25
CCTV-News / CNTV
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