Brazil opens five new markets for live cattle export

Sep, 21, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202338

Brazil is a pioneer in exporting live animals, primarily live cattle. This sector has been rapidly growing, with new markets opening up.

On Tuesday (Sept 19), five new international markets opened for Brazilian live cattle exports: Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, all of which are part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Over the last five years, these countries have imported over $200 million worth of live cattle annually from other suppliers. The authorization for imports was granted during a mission by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to Moscow, with the support of the Brazilian Embassy. During this visit, the Ministry of Agriculture representatives met with Sergey Dankvert, the head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision of the Russian Federation, to deliver the International Zoosanitary Certificate (CZI).

In 2022, Brazil exported just over $1.8 billion worth of agribusiness products to the EAEU, with the main items being soybeans (48%), raw sugar (16%), beef (9%), and green coffee (7%). The opening of these new markets is the result of joint efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Mapa) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE).

Live Animal Exports

In 2019, live animal exports reached a FOB value of $457 million, a decrease of over 20% compared to 2018, when $621 million worth of live animals were exported. Approximately 181,000 metric tons were exported, mainly to countries like Turkey and Iraq, which are the biggest importers of live animals from Brazil.

It’s worth noting that the pandemic year brought significant restrictions to these markets, which largely explains the decrease in export volume. Turkey, as mentioned earlier, is the primary destination for live animal exports, accounting for 26% of all countries that received these goods in 2019. In terms of value, Turkey paid $127 million for these products. Iraq follows, also receiving a large quantity and value of live animals, at $89.2 million.

The Port of Rio Grande in Rio Grande do Sul recorded an 800% growth in live cattle exports from January to July this year compared to the same period in 2022. By July, 120,000 head of cattle were exported, in contrast to just over 10,000 in the previous year.

According to Portos RS, the state-owned company that manages the hydroport system in Rio Grande do Sul, the increase in live cattle exports is related to the quality of breeds and compliance with health standards. Moreover, importing countries with a shortage of protein turn to live cattle due to refrigeration limitations, allowing younger animals to finish their development at their destination.

The Live Cattle Export Market Still Has Room to Grow

Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, according to the Brazilian Association of Meat Export Industries (Abiec), is still in its infancy when it comes to live cattle sales.

In 2021, approximately 2.4 million metric tons of live cattle were exported worldwide, representing about 20% of the international cattle trade when considering both live animals and meat. During this period, Brazil’s share was just over 1% of the total.

The live animal trade, while promising, requires complex logistics operations. To reach the destination country, the animal usually needs to undergo a journey of thousands of kilometers from the supplying farm to the port of origin, involving maritime and overland transportation, until it reaches the slaughterhouse or the destination farm. Often, a quarantine period is also required at the destination market.

Brazil’s entry into the select group of live cattle exporters is the result of joint efforts by the private sector and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (Mapa). Agricultural entrepreneurs seized the opportunity and demonstrated to the market that Brazil meets the necessary criteria to operate as a player in this segment, offering the quality and health of the required cattle herd.

Source: Compre Rural

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