Brazil meat companies process unprecedented volume

Numbers make it the global meat king
calendar icon 15 March 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazilian meat companies processed unprecedented volumes of chicken and hogs and recorded the second-highest level of cattle slaughtering in history, according to 2023 data released on Thursday by the national census bureau, reported Reuters.

The fresh data from statistics agency IBGE confirms that the South American nation, which is the world's biggest beef and chicken meat supplier and the fourth largest hog meat exporter, is well positioned to retain or expand its share of the global meat trade.

Brazilian meat companies serve hundreds of clients spanning the globe, with China and the Middle East being among key meat export destinations for the grain and meat production powerhouse.

IBGE said cattle slaughtering in Brazil, which commands about a fourth of the global beef trade, grew by almost 14% in 2023 to 34.06 million head, in continued expansion from 2022.

Brazil is home to some of the world's biggest meat companies including JBS, BRF, Marfrig and Minerva.

The country exported 2.01 million metric tons of fresh beef last year, an all-time record, IBGE said.

Only the United States produces more beef than Brazil, but there, low cattle inventories defied meat producers in recent quarters, including Brazil-headquartered JBS and Marfrig.

Even as cattle slaughtering increased last year, Brazil still boasts one of the world's largest cattle herds, with over 230 million head, according to IBGE data.

Brazil is likewise very competitive in the global chicken and hog meats trade, where it commands respectively a 37% and a 13% share of total world sales, according to trade data compiled by meat lobby ABPA.

Chicken and hog slaughtering were also record last year, totaling 6.28 billion and 57.17 million head respectively, IBGE said.

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