Brazil beef exports to UAE boom

By Paul Cochrane

- Last updated on GMT

Brazil beef exports to UAE boom

Related tags: Beef

Brazilian beef exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw an increase of 439.84% year-on-year in the first half of 2019, according to figures issued by the Dubai-based Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

Brazilian beef sales to all Arab countries were up 47.62%. The UAE has imported 51,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef in January-June this year (2019) compared to 9,400 tonnes in the first 6 months of 2018. Exports to Arab countries represented 19.5% of total Brazilian beef exports, up from 15.9% in the first half of 2018.

“The increase of sales to Arab countries, including the UAE is related to the well-established Halal slaughter practice in Brazil and the low exchange rate,”​ Thiago Bernardino de Carvalho, livestock researcher at Brazil’s University of São Paulo Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics told Global Meat News.

The Brazilian Real (BRL) has fallen 11% against the US dollar since the start of 2018 and over 25% since the start of 2015. Similar falls have occurred against other currencies, for instance the UAE Dirham (AED) – BRL bought AED1.18 in September, now it buys AED0.97 - lowering the price of Brazil’s exports.

“Brazil has one of the world’s lowest production costs for beef, which, with the high volume available, results in high competitiveness in export,”​ he added. “Moreover, Nelore beef ​[produced widely in Brazil], which is leaner compared to European beef, attracts many consumers in the Arab World.”

Brazil has a herd of over 215 million cows, some 80% of which are pure-bred or hybrid Nelore.

“In addition to the relatively low price for Brazilian beef, the increase in demand from the UAE is due to Australia’s lower supply capacity as a result of drought and floods,”​ said Tamer Mansour, secretary general of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

“The UAE is traditionally a hub for re-exporting Brazilian beef and reprocessing it into other value-added products,”​ he told Global Meat News.

The increase is particularly impressive given the March 2017 meat health scandal that hit Brazil, sparking a temporary import ban in several countries, including the UAE. In the second half of 2017, however, exports increased again, reaching a record high in 2018.

And Brazil’s poultry exports to the UAE have also been increasing. They grew by 35.7% year-on-year in the 12 months to this June (2019), reaching 192,000 tonnes, according to the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA - Associação Brasileira de Proteína Animal). The UAE is Brazil’s fourth largest poultry export destination behind China, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Total Brazilian poultry exports increased by 11.4% in January-June of this year to reach two million tonnes, while revenues recorded a 14.8% growth to US$3.4bn. Up to 60% of chicken exports are cuts, while some 32% are whole chickens. The remainder is processed chicken.

Related topics: Meat

Related news

Follow us


View more