ULAN BATOR, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's meat exports increased 2.8 times year on year in the first half of 2018, customs data showed Friday.
The country exported a total of 20,320 tons of meat and meat products to countries including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Iran in the January-June period of 2018, contributing 44.9 million U.S. dollars to the state budget, according to the Mongolian Customs General Administration.
Mongolia has more than 66.2 million livestock animals, and animal husbandry is one of the leading sectors of the landlocked country's economy.
According to the Mongolian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry, the nomadic country aims to raise meat exports tenfold in the coming years.
But frequent outbreaks of livestock animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and mad cow disease are impeding the country's meat exports.
Mongolian quarantine officials have slaughtered thousands of animals in the past winter to contain the spread of FMD.