December 8, 2008

Brazilian November beef exports slump to 2004 level

Brazil's unprocessed beef exports in November totalled 56,700 tonnes swt, down 43 percent on a year ago and 36 percent lower than October - the smallest volume since February 2004.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, the main reasons for the lower volumes and prices were the renegotiation of contracts and lack of credit among importers. In addition, meatpackers (which have scaled down production or have temporarily closed, consequently producing low volumes) have redirected many forequarter shipments to the domestic market, which increases its beef demand during the summer season.

Average freight-on-board (FOB) prices during November averaged US$3,984/tonne, down 10 percent compared to October but 28 percent above November 2007.

For the calendar year to November, volumes were down 21 percent to 961,000 tonnes year-on-year. In contrast, total export revenue was up 17 percent on 2007 as a result of the 48 percent increase in average prices.

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