Brazil's beef exports reached $6.2 billion in 2017


Despite a huge scandal related to the meat exported by some of the biggest Brazilian players in the industry, the country’s beef exports of the were at a record level at the end of 2017. In March, when the tainted meat scandal erupted in the backyard of JBS (beef) and BRF (poultry), probably no one would have foreseen a $6.2 billion figure reported only by beef exporters at the end of the year.

Posted on Feb 19 ,05:44

Brazil's beef exports reached $6.2 billion in 2017

Nonetheless, a giant effort made by Brazilian authorities lifted quickly the bans on several markets that now seem to be addicted to the beef exported by local producers. China and Hong Kong are some of those, but also Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or UAE appear in the top 10 buyers of Brazilian beef, as shown in ABIEC reports of beef exports of this country.

Fresh beef, a successful product

From the total amount of $6.2 billion resulted from beef exports, fresh meat is the most merchantable product with more than $5 billion in exports/1.2 million tonnes, representing an increase of 17% in terms of value and 12% in terms of volume compared to 2016. Offals is the second most valuable product of beef exports from Brazil, worth $583 million while the third place is occupied by processed beef $516 million. Casings and salted beef accounted for $69 million and $29 million, respectively.

Middle East exposure

As mentioned before, Iran was  the third destination for Brazilian beef in 2017 with 133,035 tonnes worth almost $560 million. It was closely followed by Egypt (146,920 tonnes/$519 million). Still, Iran is a “fresh” market for Brazilian beef, marking an increase of 51% and 40% in terms of value and volume compared with 2016. Egypt, on the other hand, has seen a decrease
of 2% in terms of value and 11% in volume at the same period.

Nevertheless, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (41.332 tonnes/$166 million of Brazilian beef imports in 2017) remain the biggest traditional markets in the Middle East for Brazilian beef as they play the roles of the biggest economy in the area (Saudi Arabia) and the region’s largest consumer market (Egypt). Both of the countries are net importers of meat and, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia population size is only a third of Egypt’s, in 2016, the kingdom imported 50 percent more meat in 2016 than
the North African nation. At that time, Saudi Arabia imports of meat were represented by $898.5 million of live animals and
$2.1 billion of meat. But poultry was and still is the most common product in Saudi’s meals, followed by sheep meat who is preferred over beef and veal. In 2016, Saudi residents consumed 44.47 kilograms of poultry per capita, 5.286 kilogram per capita of sheep and 3.83 kilograms per capita of beef and veal. From that perspective, 2017 could represent a year of
change in consumer habits since the increase in beef imported from Brazil is 50% in terms of value and 44% in terms of volume. On the other hand, Egypt has been a consumer of Brazilian beef for a long time, and in 2016 imported a total
of $147.4 million of live animals and $1.4 billion in meat. Consumption of meat is equally divided between poultry and beef
with 9.27 kilograms per capita of beef and veal, and 9.26 kilograms per capita of poultry, according to 2016 data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For the North African country, frozen bovine was its largest meat imports in 2016, equivalent to $1 billion. Brazil was Egypt’s top exporter of frozen meat of bovine animals, reaching
$591.6 million in 2016. India was second on $376.9 million, as mentioned by Saalam Gateway. In the last two years, Egypt launched a national plan for raising meat production through the expansion of livestock breeding. In 2017, Egypt has bought 24,000 head of cattle from Uruguay and Brazil with much more expected to arrive in the years to come.

UAE (20.855 tonnes/$91 million  of Brazilian beef imports in 2017), the other big importer of Brazilian beef in the Middle East, it also have a long tradition with the beef industry from this country. According to a calculation made by Saalam Gateway, in 2016, UAE has imported 60% of its live animals, meats, fish and other products of animal origin. The origin markets
for these products were: Brazil, India, New Zealand, Australia, United States, Pakistan and France. For years now, Brazil stood as the main supplier of food to UAE, in 2016 covering 18.76% of the live animals and meat in this market. Compared to that year, the beef market in UAE for Brazil looks even better in 2017 as the beef imported by the seven sheikdoms increased at 13% in terms of value and at 10% in terms of volume.

Big demand

At the end of 2017, the beef global market was so eager to chew on a Brazilian beef chunk that even the small producers got a slice in market share. According to Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (ABIEC), Sao Paolo was the largest state exporter of Brazilian beef with a turnover of $155 million which stand for a 16% increase on Y/Y basis. At the same time, the smallest state producer in the country, Rondonia, registered an increase in exports by 62% worth $42 million.

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