Strong June Results for South American Beef Exporters


Brazil’s June beef/beef variety meat exports were lower than the May results, but still up 11 percent from a year ago to 117,861 metric tons (mt). This pushed Brazil’s first-half total to 720,470 mt, up 13 percent.

Brazil’s first-half exports were the largest in seven years, though still 16 percent behind the record pace of 2007.

June export growth was led by Russia, Hong Kong and Venezuela, though first-half exports to Russia were 6 percent lower than a year ago at 143,260 mt. In other key markets, first-half exports were larger for Hong Kong (165,010, +13 percent), Venezuela (83,229 mt, +37 percent) and Egypt (71,113 mt, +33 percent), and exports to Iran tripled to 51,024 mt. Volumes to the EU (48,160 mt, -11 percent) and Chile (26,448 mt, -27 percent) were lower. Brazil’s cattle prices have moderated somewhat from their early April peak, but have been steady over the past month. Prices are up 20 percent from a year ago at $1.66/lb, carcass weight.


Paraguay’s June exports were up 19 percent to 24,323 mt. First-half exports totaled 135,648 mt, up 15 percent. Results were led by a continued recovery in exports to Chile (21,406 mt, +515 percent), which was closed to Paraguayan beef for most of 2012 (due to foot-and-mouth disease) and remained slow through the first half of last year. First-half exports were also larger to Brazil (12,994 mt, +22 percent) and Hong Kong (10,483 mt, +63 percent) but lower for Israel (7,076 mt, -8 percent). Exports to leading market Russia were strong in June (14,065 mt, +32 percent), but the first-half total (68,300 mt, -6 percent) was still lower than a year ago.

Uruguay’s June exports were up 48 percent to 33,670 mt, the largest since late 2012. June saw strong growth in frozen exports to Russia (5,935 mt, +267 percent), the United States (3,204 mt, +133 percent), China (6,799 mt, +8 percent) and the EU (1,975 mt, +25 percent). First-half exports were up 5 percent to 163,994 mt, with China the largest market for frozen beef, followed by the U.S., Russia and Israel. Exports to the EU were up slightly in the first half, with strong growth in chilled shipments (11,535 mt, +17 percent) offsetting a decline in frozen (10,538 mt, -12 percent). Uruguay’s cattle slaughter is down 2.5 percent from a year ago as it heads into the low-production period. Cattle prices are currently even with last year at $1.57/lb.