December 22, 2008


Brazil Jan-Nov beef exports down 14.4 percent on-year

Brazil's beef exports from January to November fell 14.4 percent to 1.29 million tonnes.


Despite the fall in export volumes, value grew 22.3 percent on-year during the period to US$5 billion due to a 40-percent increase in international meat prices, said Roberto Gianetti da Fonseca, president of the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Associatin (Abiec).


Fonseca expects foreign sales to reach US$5.3-5.4 billion in December, with volume at 1.3-1.35 million tonnes.


The decline in export volumes is partly attributed to decreased demand from Russia, which has been badly affected by the global financial crisis and is undergoing credit-related problems.


Russia imported 12,560 tonnes of Brazilian beef in November, down 76.8 percent on-year. However, Russia remained as the largest market, as Venezuela imported only 4,390 tonnes in November despite a growth of 122.6 percent from 977 tonnes.


From January to November, Russia imported 371,960 tonnes of Brazilian beef valued at US$1.4 billion, an on-year 10.5-percent fall in volume but 6.4-percent increase in value.


Abiec expects to maintain this year's export volume and figures in 2009. Fonseca said beef prices should fall due to high supply and low demand, and that they were currently renegotiating prices.


Fonseca also said Abiec will work to double sales to the EU next year, as the region imposed trade barriers against Brazilian beef this year, leading to a decrease in Brazilian beef exports.


Fonseca said that among all meat sectors, the beef industry should be least affected by the economic crisis as it is able to adjust to the supply.

"Whenever there is an excess supply, we leave the cattle on the pasture for a while longer, at not that high a cost compared with other sectors," Fonseca stated.


In November, Brazil's beef exports fell 34.4 percent in volume to 83,430 tonnes, down from 127,200 tonnes in November 2007. Foreign sales fell 13.8 percent on-year to US$335.72 million.

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