November 5, 2018
Brazil leads global market for beef exports in 2018
Brazil is once more the world's number one exporter of beef, with a record 2.1 million tonnes delivered to markets outside the country this year.
Brazil's achievement came after a tumultuous 2017 during which it was rocked by a meat production scandal. Allegations of major processors selling rotten beef and poultry led to the suspension of 33 government officials and plant shutdowns.
The country currently has about 30 million cattle on feed. Although it is a small player in the live export market, with a shipment of about 300,000 head, this market seems to be growing, even in the face of opposition by anti-live export activists who used Brazil's courts to halt exports to Turkey.
India follows in the second place, according to the USDA which ranked the country as having the biggest cattle and buffalo herd in the world, at an estimated 305 million head. India is major producer of carabeef obtained from buffaloes in addition to beef from cattle. Carabeef constitutes 40% of exports.
"On the ground, (Brazil's) feeding systems and production techniques are on par with Australia," said Toby Doak, Alltech's nutritional adviser who led a tour of Australian producers in Brazil earlier this year.
"The challenges are in the genetics of the leaner Nelor-based cattle, the lack of traceability, and the instability of (the) government."
- Queensland Country Life