Brazil beef exports rising after meat scandal

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Brazil beef exports rising after meat scandal

Related tags Brazilian beef Brazilian beef exports International trade Import Brazil Beef Livestock

Brazilian beef exports appear to be returning to pre-scandal levels, with global shipments up by nearly a third in July, according to new data.

Global sales of frozen Brazilian beef generated $540m in July 2017, rising year-on-year by 31%, according to data from the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (ABIEC).

This is the highest value generated by Brazilian beef exports this year, suggesting the fallout from the rotten meat scandal​ nearly six months ago could very well be over and indicating Brazil’s ambitious export drive is back on the cards.

While the Brazilian real is weak, making exports competitive, the rise in trade value is not purely down to currency, as the country’s export haul of 117,000 tonnes (t) last month is up year-on-year by 22%.

Access to ‘strategic markets’

With value of $451 and volume of roughly 96,000t, fresh Brazilian beef exports are up by 38% and 30% respectively.

Comparing June with July 2017, fresh beef export value and volume recorded single-digit growth too.

The strong export figures have buoyed ABIEC, which said it now planned to focus on expanding Brazil’s presence in “strategic markets​”.

Earlier this year, with Brazil still reeling from the tainted meat scandal, ABIEC told this site it wanted to have 184 countries importing its beef​ in 2017. Last year, Brazil had access to ship beef to 133 countries and 129 the year before.

Brazilian cattle grazing as export figures rise
Brazilian cattle grazing as export figures rise

Talks are believed to be ongoing – to not only expand the volume of beef Brazil can ship to existing trading partners, but to open new markets as well.

The expectation is to maintain the positive results for the Brazilian beef exports sector,​” ABIEC said in a statement.

Key markets China and Hong Kong were the largest importers of Brazilian beef in July. Egypt has been the fastest-growing market for Brazilian beef, with volume and value rising by 38% and 36% respectively.

A US embargo on fresh Brazilian beef imports is still in place, however. US agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue recently said there was no timeline on lifting the ban​, after he conceded his counterpart in Brazil, Blairo Maggi, had suggested he lacked the resources to root out problems that have plagued the country’s meat inspection systems.

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