Fueled by larger beef production and a weaker currency, Brazil’s July beef and beef variety meat exports were up 23 percent from a year ago to 125,886 mt – the largest monthly total in nearly five years (Sept. 2008). July’s performance was driven in large part by Hong Kong (32,605 mt, +117 percent) and Venezuela (11,598 mt, +287 percent).
For the first seven months of 2013, Brazil’s export volume was 23 percent higher than a year ago at 764,547 mt while value was up 16 percent to just under $3.4 billion. Hong Kong was the leading destination (178,689 mt, +95 percent), followed by Russia (175,217 mt, +9 percent). China maintains its ban on Brazilian beef, introduced last year after the announcement of Brazil’s first BSE case, but strong growth to Hong Kong maintained Brazil’s position as the largest supplier to the region. January-July exports were larger for all main markets, with Venezuela (72,387 mt, +62 percent), Egypt (67,929 mt, +1 percent) and the EU (63,752 mt, +12 percent) rounding out the top five destinations for Brazilian beef. Processed beef products to the EU were down 8 percent to 27,937 mt, but these products still made up 44 percent of Brazil’s exports to the EU. This decline was offset by growth in frozen (23,216 mt, +38 percent) and chilled (12,329 mt, +29 percent) beef exports.
Cattle prices in Sao Paulo are averaging about $1.35 per pound (carcass basis), down slightly from last year’s low levels and about 30 percent lower than in 2011, reflecting the weaker real. Unit export values were down 6 percent to $4,445.68 per mt. Unit values for chilled beef exports were down 10 percent to $5,961 per mt, with Chile being the largest market for chilled Brazilian beef.
Brazil’s July pork and pork variety meat exports were up 14 percent from a year ago to 49,602 mt, the largest monthly total of 2013. Exports were led by a resumption of trade with Ukraine (8,714 mt, +29 percent) and growth to all leading markets, including Russia (13,400 mt, +13 percent) and Hong Kong (11,496 mt, +27 percent).
For the first seven months of this year, pork exports were still down 7 percent to 286,080 mt with value down 4.6 percent to $748.87 million. Larger exports to Russia (82,454 mt, +22 percent but still down 27 percent from 2011) did not fully offset declines to Ukraine (34,100 mt, -52 percent), while exports to Hong Kong (71,990 mt) and Angola (22,676 mt) were steady with last year.
Brazil’s hog prices in July averaged about 69 cents per pound (carcass basis). This was the lowest monthly average of 2013, up 10 percent from last year’s low levels but 29 percent lower than July 2011 (partially reflecting the weaker real). Brazil’s pork producers have struggled with high feed costs over the past year, but the resumption of access to Ukraine and moderating feed costs have brightened the outlook for producers.
(Sources: Global Trade Atlas, CEPEA and IEA)