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Cow Slaughter Rises in Brazil

16 December 2013

BRAZIL - The number of cows and heifers slaughtered in Brazil as a part of the total slaughter numbers has been increasing over the last few years.

In 2010 the figures was 36.12 per cent of the number of animals slaughter and this rose to 42.08 per cent in 2012 and to 46.15 per cent in 2013 in the first half year, according to most recent data from the official statistics agency in Brazil, IBGE.

The figures from tyhis half year show that the volume of female animals slaughtered might have reached its peak for this cycle of six to seven years.

According to the Brazilian agricultural agency CEPEA, the current period would see the end of the cow and heifer slaughter expansion.

IBGE indicates that, in the second quarter of 2013, 3.875 million female animals were slaughtered in Brazil, a record for a three-month period and an increase of 14.4 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2012.

Since 2004, the slaughter of female animals increased 56.9 per cent in Brazil, following rises of the total volume of animals slaughtered in the same period, of 43.3 per cent.

Among Brazilian regions, the Central-Western is highlighted because it has the highest share of female slaughter in the total volume slaughtered, of 48.7 per cent, in the average of the first semester this year.

The slaughter of cows and heifers in Brazil has increased over the last years as a way to increase the profitability of cattle farmers in months when their profit decreases.

Moreover, this year, different from what has been observed in 2012, fed cattle and cow quotes are moving up significantly in major areas surveyed by Cepea, which might has also pushed up the slaughter of females.

As a result, in the forthcoming years, the number of calves tends to be smaller, which may impact prices of lean and fed cattle in case the demand remains firm.

As for the domestic market, the cattle supply continued limited in late November, increasing expectations of new price rises. The ESALQ/BM&FBovespa Index (São Paulo State) for the fed cattle averaged 109.59 reais (46.91 dollars) on Nov. 29, moving up 1.71 per cent from 31 October to 2 November.

In the pig meat sector, quotes for pork cuts that are usually consumed at the end-of-the-year holidays, such as pork loin and ham, have been moving up in the wholesale market in São Paulo.

Players surveyed by Cepea say that rises are attributed to the slight demand increase. In an attempt to build stocks to meet the higher consumption at the end of the year, slaughterhouses are showing higher interest to purchase.

In the poultry market, the price gap between broiler and pork in November is the highest for this month, considering all Cepea historical series, started in 2004 for both products.

Between 1 and 29 November, chilled broiler quotes averaged 3.45 reais per kilo and the regular pork carcase, 5.70 reais per kilo, both traded in the wholesale market of São Paulo – the difference is 2.25 reais per kilo. In the same period last year, when prices of both products were moving up, pork quotes were 1.56 real higher than broiler.

In this period of the year, prices of both meats usually increase, affected by the higher demand at the end of the year. As for pork, however, purchasers have held back because of difficulties to sell in the wholesale market, which has been keeping the trend down.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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