Biggest Meat Exporter In The World, 5 Reasons Why Brazil is

Biggest Meat Exporter In The World

5 Reasons Why Brazil is the Biggest Meat Exporter in the World

Brazil is the biggest meat exporter in the world, with a market share of over 20% in 2020. The country exported 2.6 million metric tons of beef and veal, worth 9.3 billion U.S. dollars, to more than 150 countries. But what makes Brazil such a powerhouse in the global meat industry? Here are five reasons why Brazil is the biggest meat exporter in the world.

1. Abundant natural resources

Brazil has a vast territory, with over 200 million hectares of pasture land, suitable for cattle raising. The country also has a favorable climate, with abundant rainfall and sunshine, which allows for year-round grazing. Brazil also has abundant water resources, with 12% of the world’s freshwater supply.

2. Competitive production costs

Brazil has one of the lowest production costs for beef in the world, thanks to its extensive grazing system, which relies on natural grasses and legumes, and requires minimal inputs of feed, fertilizers, and antibiotics. Brazil also has a large and efficient slaughter and processing industry, with modern facilities and technologies, which reduces waste and increases productivity.

3. Diversified product portfolio

Brazil offers a wide range of beef products, from fresh and frozen cuts to processed and prepared products, such as corned beef, jerky, sausages, and hamburgers. Brazil also adapts its products to the preferences and requirements of different markets, such as halal certification for Muslim countries, organic certification for European countries, and traceability systems for quality assurance.

4. Strong market access

Brazil has established trade agreements with many countries and regions, which grant preferential tariffs and sanitary standards for its beef exports. Brazil is also a member of the Mercosur bloc, which gives it access to other South American markets, such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Brazil also participates in multilateral negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), which aim to reduce trade barriers and promote fair competition.

5. Growing global demand

Brazil benefits from the growing global demand for beef, especially from emerging markets such as China, Russia, Egypt, and Iran. These countries have increased their consumption of beef due to rising incomes, urbanization, population growth, and dietary changes. Brazil also caters to the demand for high-quality beef from developed markets such as the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

The Global Beef Industry: Trends and Challenges

Beef is one of the most consumed types of meat worldwide, with a global production of about 72 million metric tons in 2022. However, the beef industry faces many challenges, such as environmental impacts, animal welfare issues, trade barriers and consumer preferences. In this blog post, we will explore some of the trends and challenges of the global beef industry, focusing on the top exporters and importers of beef.

Top Exporters of Beef

According to Statista, the top exporters of beef worldwide in 2022 were:

CountryExport value (in billion U.S. dollars)
United States9.3

The United States was the largest exporter of beef in terms of value, followed by Germany and Brazil. However, in terms of volume, Brazil and Australia were the leading exporters of beef and veal, with 2.6 million and 1.5 million metric tons respectively in 2022.

Brazil and India are expected to continue their leading positions in the near future, thanks to growing production by Indian beef export companies and growing international market demand with favored access . Brazil has also been one of the countries growing its exports the strongest, together with Argentina and Canada .

However, Brazil has also been criticized for its cattle industry which is strongest in the central states of the country and has caused a lot of deforestation. Cattle need feed and room to graze. Millions of acres have been cleared to make room for the animals themselves as well as soy plantations, a crop of which 80 percent is used for animal feed worldwide. The fires which wreaked havoc on the Brazilian rainforest in 2019 were caused by the burning of trees in connection to the clearing of forest for the soy and cattle industries, as well as small-scale farmers slashing and burning their cropland .

Top Importers of Beef

According to Statista, the top importers of beef worldwide in 2022 were:

CountryImport value (in billion U.S. dollars)
United States6.9
South Korea5.8
Hong Kong4

China was by far the largest importer of beef in terms of value, followed by Japan and the United States. China’s demand for beef has been increasing rapidly in recent years, driven by urbanization, income growth and dietary changes. China imported more than three million metric tons of beef in 2020, a 60 percent increase from 2019 .

However, China’s beef imports are also affected by trade policies and geopolitical tensions. For example, China banned beef imports from Australia in May 2020, after Australia called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic . Australia was one of China’s main sources of beef, accounting for about 20 percent of China’s imports in 2019 .

The global beef industry is a complex and dynamic sector that involves many actors and factors. The top exporters and importers of beef face different opportunities and challenges in meeting the global demand for beef, while also addressing the environmental and social impacts of their production and consumption patterns.


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