Brazil pork exports samba forward

By Kakie Roubaud, Rio de Janeiro

- Last updated on GMT

Brazil's surge in meat exports has helped stablise the country's weakened economy
Brazil's surge in meat exports has helped stablise the country's weakened economy
It’s carnival time for Brazil’s booming pork exports, with volume sales from January to July increasing by 42.2% compared to the same period in 2015. 

The Brazilian Protein Association (Associação Brasileira de Proteína Animal) said that, from January to July this year, 413,300 tonnes had been exported, be it frozen or processed meat, including sausages. In value terms, in these seven months, exports have risen by 25.8% year-on-year to BRL2.72 billion ($829m), although in terms of US dollar values, because of currency shifts, the increase was just 6.2%.

The boom in exports​ has helped rejuvenate a weak national economy that is in need of support. July was an especially bad month for Brazil because of drought and excess rain damaging crops and labour disputes in Brazilian ports. In a prospective study called ‘Agribusiness Forecast- Brazil 2015/16 to 2025/26’, the ministry of agriculture, livestock and supply (MAPA - ministério da agricultura, pecuária e abastecimento) said that inclement weather had reduced overall crop output by 2.5% in 2016 year-on-year, mainly soya and maze.

Healthy pork production

This has made life tougher for pigmeat producers, notwithstanding their export success, in terms of increasing feed prices. Despite this, however, the ministry forecasts that Brazilian pigmeat production should increase 2.7% per year on average over the next 10 years, with prices among the highest for Brazilian meat segments. Healthy production should allow the industry to meet domestic, as well as export demand. There will be fluctuations, however: between 2016 and 2026, the ministry predicted, annual consumption – in tonnes – should be 29.4% and for exports 43.1%. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has predicted that Brazil will be the world’s fourth largest pigmeat exporter in 2024, behind the USA, the European Union (EU) and Canada.

Brazil’s main markets for exported pigmeat are currently Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore. “But new developments are modifying the market shares,​” explained Ricardo Santin, ABPA vice-president.

For years, Russia has been responsible for half of our exports. But now, while Russia is buying more, it is only responsible for a third of purchases… China and Hong Kong have increased their pigmeat imports, along with other markets in Asia and South America, such as Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Singapore as well… Nowadays, the Brazilian pigmeat sector feels less dependent on sales to eastern Europe,​” he told GlobalMeatNews.

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