The country achieved exports of US$7.2bn last year – up 7.7% on the previous year, with volumes up 3.3% to 1.56 million tonnes (t), according to Brazilian Association of Beef Industry and Exporters (ABIEC).
However January saw sales drop 23% to US$426m (96,000t) in January 2015, and a 26% drop in volumes.
Antonio Jorge Camardelli, president of ABIEC, said: "The slowdown was expected, due to the macroeconomic environment that Russia faces and also because the new quotas for the year have not yet been distributed to importers in the country."
Hong Kong remained the number one destination, in terms of volume and value, for Brazilian beef, with 29,748t exported there last month, while more than 20,606t were supplied to Egypt.
This compared to the third-largest export destination (by volume) – Russia – importing 9,263t, and the EU which took 8,761t. However, the EU remains a far more lucrative market than Russia, with Russian exports contributing US$29,000, compared to the EU which contributed US$64,000.
In terms of growth markets, the US was a particular highlight, according to ABIEC, with revenues from exports to the country increasing 170% in value and more than 127% in volumes, placing it as the fifth most valuable export country.
Brazil currently only exports processed beef to the US. Camardelli, added: "We have indications that the negotiations with the US market for fresh beef will proceed in a positive way. The opening of the US is of fundamental importance, because it enables us to reach other NAFTA countries, as well as the Caribbean and Central America."
Brazil is also hopeful that the Chinese market will open up again this year, while Saudi Arabia and Japan’s trade embargo has also ended.
As part of its export expansion plans, ABIEC exhibited at the Gulfood exhibition in Dubai earlier this month, alongside 11 associated companies, including JBS, Marfrig and Barra Mansa.
Camardelli said the Arab countries were an essential market for Brazilian beef, with sales having doubled in the past 10 years to US$1.3bn. "And we still have potential for further growth," he added.