Beef & Veal
Beef exports are forecast to increase in 2019 at a rate close to 5 percent to a record of 2.1 million metric tons, driven by higher demand from Asia, mostly China and Hong Kong. Egypt and Chile are rapidly becoming major export markets for Brazilian beef.
These four countries together now account for over 70 percent of all beef exports from Brazil. Growth in these markets helped to offset the losses in the Russian market. Brazil is a major importer of beef cattle genetics and the United States accounts for an average market share of nearly 50 percent, followed by Canada with an average of 20 percent.
Despite the current volatility of the exchange rate, imports of bovine semen from the United States increased by 9 percent during January-July 2018 and will likely increase in 2019 due to the cattle genetic improvement program.
Post forecasts cattle exports to increase by 15 percent in 2019, which is a lower growth rate than in 2017/18 mostly due to the concerns of Brazilian cattle exporters with Turkey’s Lira crisis. Turkey has replaced Venezuela as the most important market for Brazilian live cattle exports, with a market share of nearly 80 percent in 2017/18. Post revised cattle exports upwards in 2018 to reflect to a significant increase of 278 percent cattle exports to Turkey.
However, Brazilian cattle exporters are trying to reduce their dependence on exports to Turkey by finalizing sanitary agreements with several countries and promoting their cattle in new markets. The most important promising markets are Egypt, Myanmar, Jordan, Iraq and Bolivia. Negotiations are ongoing for sanitary agreements with Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Mauritius.
Post forecasts of veal production in 2019 to increase by over two percent as herd expansion continues in Brazil along with higher productivity. Cattle production will continue to be supported by several government programs, such as subsidized agricultural credit for pasture improvement, recovery of degraded pastures, and crossbreeding programs using imported cattle genetics.
Climatologists also suggest that the weather pattern in 2019 will include more rain precipitation benefiting pastures in the Midwest regions of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais, as well as the northern regions of Pará and Bahia, which account for more than 40 percent of the cattle production in Brazil.