7 Reasons Why Brazil is the Largest Meat Exporter in the World
Brazil is the largest meat exporter in the world, surpassing other major producers such as India, Australia, and the United States. In 2020, Brazil exported 2.6 million metric tons of beef and veal, accounting for 20 percent of the global market share. But what makes Brazil so successful in the meat industry? Here are seven reasons why Brazil is the world leader in beef exports.
1. Abundant natural resources
Brazil has a vast territory with diverse climatic conditions and abundant water resources, which provide ideal conditions for cattle raising. Brazil has about 200 million hectares of pasture land, equivalent to half of its total area. Brazil also has the largest commercial herd in the world, with more than 200 million cattle.
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2. Competitive costs
Brazil has low production costs compared to other major beef exporters, thanks to its extensive farming system, which relies on natural grasses and low use of inputs. Brazil also benefits from favorable exchange rates, which make its beef more affordable in international markets.
3. Quality and safety standards
Brazil has improved its quality and safety standards over the years, complying with the requirements of different markets and consumers. Brazil has implemented traceability systems, sanitary controls, animal welfare practices, and environmental regulations to ensure the quality and safety of its beef products. Brazil also has a diversified product portfolio, offering different cuts, grades, and types of beef to meet the preferences of different customers.
4. Market access
Brazil has established trade agreements with several countries and regions, expanding its market access and reducing tariff barriers. Brazil is a member of Mercosur, a regional bloc that includes Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, which grants preferential access to a market of 300 million consumers. Brazil also has trade agreements with the European Union, China, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, Israel, and others, opening new opportunities for its beef exports.
5. Innovation and technology
Brazil has invested in innovation and technology to increase its productivity and efficiency in the meat sector. Brazil has adopted genetic improvement programs, artificial insemination, embryo transfer, and biotechnology to improve the quality and performance of its cattle. Brazil also has a strong research and development network, involving public and private institutions, such as Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), which provides technical support and solutions for the meat industry.
6. Sustainability and social responsibility
Brazil has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector, which accounts for about 15 percent of its total emissions. Brazil has implemented low-carbon farming practices, such as integrated crop-livestock-forestry systems, rotational grazing, and recovery of degraded pastures, which reduce deforestation and increase carbon sequestration. Brazil also participates in initiatives such as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS), which promote social and environmental responsibility in the meat value chain.
7. Consumer preference
Brazil has gained consumer preference in many markets due to its high-quality and tasty beef products. Brazilian beef is known for its tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and nutritional value, which appeal to different palates and cultures. Brazilian beef also has a positive image among consumers who value sustainability and animal welfare.
These are some of the reasons why Brazil is the largest meat exporter in the world. With its competitive advantages and continuous improvement, Brazil is expected to maintain its leadership position in the global meat market in the coming years.
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The Global Beef Export Market: Trends and Challenges
The global beef export market is a dynamic and competitive sector that involves many players and factors. In this blog post, we will explore some of the trends and challenges that shape the global beef trade, as well as the role of the largest beef exporters in the world.
Who are the largest beef exporters in the world?
According to the USDA, the global beef exports totalled 9.439 million tonnes in 2016. Brazil and India were the two largest exporters of beef in the world, followed by Australia and the United States. In 2018, Brazil regained its position as the world’s largest beef exporter, providing close to 20 percent of total global beef exports, outpacing India by 527,000 metric tons carcass weight equivalent (CWE). In 2021, Brazil was forecasted to export 2.6 million metric tons of beef and veal, while the United States was expected to export 1.5 million metric tons.
What are the drivers and barriers of global beef trade?
The global beef trade is influenced by various factors, such as consumer demand, production costs, animal health, environmental issues, trade policies, and exchange rates. Some of the drivers of global beef trade include:
- The growing demand for beef in emerging markets, especially in Asia, where incomes are rising and dietary preferences are changing. China is the largest importer of beef in the world, accounting for 26 percent of global imports in 2020.
- The technological innovations and improvements in production efficiency that enable some countries to produce more beef at lower costs. For example, Brazil has increased its productivity by adopting improved pasture management, genetic selection, and feedlot systems.
- The trade agreements and partnerships that facilitate market access and reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers. For example, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has created new opportunities for beef exporters such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to access markets such as Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Some of the barriers or challenges of global beef trade include:
- The animal health and food safety issues that can affect consumer confidence and disrupt trade flows. For example, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or African swine fever (ASF) can have significant impacts on the supply and demand of beef.
- The environmental and social concerns that can affect consumer preferences and production practices. For example, consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of beef production, such as greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water use, and biodiversity loss. Some consumers are also opting for alternative protein sources, such as plant-based or lab-grown meat.
- The trade disputes and uncertainties that can create volatility and instability in the market. For example, the trade tensions between the United States and China have resulted in retaliatory tariffs and reduced market access for U.S. beef exporters. The Brexit process has also created uncertainty for the European Union (EU) and UK beef trade.
The global beef export market is a complex and evolving sector that offers opportunities and challenges for both producers and consumers. The largest beef exporters in the world have to adapt to the changing market conditions and consumer preferences, as well as comply with the regulatory and sanitary requirements of their trading partners. The future of global beef trade will depend on how well these factors are balanced and managed.
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