Brazil: shining star of meat trade in 2023

02 November 20228 min reading

According to the USDA report on the livestock and poultry industry, Brazil is expected to break a record with a 4 percent increase in white meat exports, due to the ongoing avian influenza and inflation in competitor Europe. The country is expected to grow by 1% in beef exports and maintain its leading position with a market share of 25%.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) has published a report entitled Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade. The report dated 12 October sheds light on the production and trade of red meat, poultry and pork in the world and in the USA. The 18-page report highlights Brazil as a shining star.


According to USDA’s report, Brazil chicken meat exports are forecast up 4 percent in 2023 on firm demand in key markets and production challenges by key competitors. Highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in North America and Europe, rising energy costs in the EU, and production disruptions in the Ukraine have decreased competitors’ exportable supplies and price competitiveness. These events enable Brazil to benefit from firm global demand as consumers seek lower priced animal protein amid inflation of food prices. Further, Brazil ships a wide variety of products (including whole birds and breast cuts) to service a broad range of markets. For example, Brazil is a robust supplier of halal products to the Middle East which is forecast to have strong demand in 2023. Brazil will remain the world’s top exporter, accounting for over one-third of global shipments.

According to the report dated 12 October, in 2023, Brazil beef exports are forecast up about 1 percent and it will maintain its position as top exporter, accounting for approximately 25 percent of beef exports by major traders. China is expected to remain Brazil’s largest market despite lower total beef imports due to increased domestic supplies. Argentina and Uruguay, Brazil’s main competitors in China, will have tighter supplies of cattle, limiting their exportable supplies. Furthermore, Brazil exports only frozen boneless beef to China and at more competitive prices than New Zealand and Australia making its shipments more attractive amid the economic slowdown. In addition to China, Brazil shipments to Middle East and Southeast Asia markets are expected to climb as India’s exports are expected to be stagnant.

Brazil is expected to maintain its position as the world’s fourth-largest pork exporter in 2023 with approximately 10-percent market share. Brazil pork exports are forecast up 3 percent on robust exports to South America and Southeast Asia, including the Philippines where African swine fever constrains production. China will remain Brazil’s top destination, but China’s total pork imports are expected to fall due to rising domestic supplies.


Global production is forecast fractionally lower in 2023 as falling North America and EU production offsets gains in Brazil, China, and Australia. Brazil production is expected to increase 1 percent based on firm global demand in key markets although higher input costs and a weak domestic market will constrain growth. In China, higher cattle inventories are anticipated to support a 5 percent increase in beef production. Meanwhile, Australia production is expected to surge 13 percent on improved pasture conditions.

Global exports in 2023 are forecast down 1 percent due to lower import demand, particularly in China. Nevertheless, lower total exports from North America and India are expected to benefit Australia and Brazil. Reduced North America competition in East Asia and rebounding Australia production will allow Australia to boost its shipments and increase market share. Meanwhile, Brazil exports are forecast record high as aggregate exports from its main competitors (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and India) are expected to fall 3 percent. Smaller cattle inventories are expected to weigh on the exportable supplies of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. As for India, exports are expected to be unchanged from 2022 with limited growth to a number of markets.

U.S. production and exports: U.S. beef production is forecast down 6 percent on tighter cattle inventories. In 2022, drought conditions in much of the United States have resulted in high culling rates and earlier-than-normal placement of cattle in feedlots. This will result in a smaller cattle herd in 2023. U.S. exports are forecast 14 percent lower than 2022’s record volume as tighter cattle supplies and potential heifer herd retention will be reflected in lower beef production, thus constraining exportable supplies. Nevertheless, U.S. exports are expected to remain historically elevated on firm demand in key market.


Global production is forecast to rise 1 percent in 2023 to 111.0 million tons as production in China increases. China pork production is expected to grow 2 percent as the sector continues to recover from the impacts of African swine fever (ASF). High feed costs in China are expected to reduce incentives to over-fatten hogs. The United States, Brazil, and Mexico are also forecast to expand production, more than offsetting declines by other major producers including the EU and the United Kingdom (UK). Rising feed, energy costs, and environmental restrictions will dampen EU production. Producers in the UK face high feed costs and weaker demand for domestic pork. Brazil and Mexico continue to expand their hog sectors to meet growing domestic demand, partly driven by consumers seeking alternatives to higher-priced beef, and stronger export demand in several key countries. Production in Vietnam continues to rebound as the management of ASF has protected the sector from large-scale outbreaks.

Global exports are forecast to fall 2 percent to 10.5 million tons in 2023 as China imports weaken for a second consecutive year. Despite persistent issues with ASF, Philippines pork imports are also forecast to decline due to the end of policies favoring imports in 2022; the temporary increase in pork quota volumes ended in May 2022 and reduced tariffs were extended through the end of 2022. UK pork imports rise as pre-pandemic consumption trends are expected to return, shifting purchases from retail to food service, shifting demand for domestically produced pork to imported Pork.

U.S. production and exports: U.S. production is forecast 1 percent higher in 2023 to 12.4 million tons on gradually increasing pig crops and heavier weights. However, U.S. exports are forecast lower in 2023 on easing demand by key importers such as Mexico and China.


Global production is forecast 2 percent higher in 2023 to a record 102.7 million tons. All major producers except China will make gains with the most significant growth in Brazil. Relatively high feed and energy prices have squeezed profitability globally, but expansion is spurred by robust demand as consumers are expected to seek lower-cost animal proteins amid rising food costs. Brazilian growth is driven by both domestic and global demand as it solidifies its position as the world’s leadingproducer, surpassing China this year. China production will be stagnant as growth in white feather production will offset a decline in yellow feather production. Demand for affordable chicken products, particularly white feather broiler meat, is expected to grow in 2023 as Chinese consumers shift towards a more diverse protein diet. Thailand production will grow 3 percent despite the anticipated slow recovery in domestic consumption and high production costs caused by supply disruptions to feed grains and day-old chicks. These factors will keep the growth rate below the pre-pandemic average. Russia and Mexico will also make gains amid strong domestic demand. EU production is forecast only marginally higher due to rising energy costs on the heels of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks.

Global exports are forecast 4 percent higher in 2023 to a record 14.1 million tons, the most aggressive growth in trade since before COVID-19. Expansion is buoyed primarily by increased demand in China, the EU, and Saudi Arabia, and as production growth is limited for a number of competing exporting producers, Brazil is expected to capture most of the gains. Brazil’s price competitiveness, EU market access, and ability to supply halal product makes the world’s leading exporter well-positioned to fulfill rising global demand. Thailand shipments will reach a record 1.0 million tons on increased shipments to major markets, particularly benefiting from improved China and Saudi Arabia market access. Exports by the EU are stymied by weak production growth on repercussions from HPAI and high prices stemming from increased input costs, particularly energy.

U.S. production and exports: U.S. production is expected to rise nearly 2 percent to nearly 21.2 million tons in 2023 on a modest decline in feed prices and firm demand. Increased supplies will bolster exports which are forecast 3 percent higher to nearly 3.4 million tons.

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