A Promising New Market for Brazil Abroad: Live Cattle

The Brazilian livestock sector is gaining a new market abroad: the sale of live cattle. In March, 9 thousand animals were shipped by boat to Lebanon.

Moreover, a mission from the Philippines is negotiating a purchase along these lines, and some East European countries have also shown interest in this type of transaction.


This information comes from José Renato Barcellos Ferreira, a foreign trade analyst in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Secretariat of International Agribusiness Relations.


According to Ferreira, the new form of trade will help the country solidify its position as a large international exporter of beef.


“Brazil is a large exporter of beef, and it needs to enter this new market. Sales of live cattle represent approximately US$ 5 billion per year in international business. Last year Brazil sold US$ 7.338 million, which is very little,” he observes.


The advantages of selling live cattle are mainly the diminution of costs for ranchers. “In selling live cattle, the cost for ranchers is less, and they don’t depend upon the intermediation of packing houses,” the specialist explains.


According to him, the price of a live animal – weighing on average 240 kilos – varies from US$ 600 to US$ 800 on the international market, depending upon the quality of the merchandise. A ton of fresh or industrialized meat can sell for up to US$ 2.122 thousand.


Ferreira recalled that Brazil’s growth in live cattle sales has been very pronounced. “Sales rose 1400% between 2002 and 2004. In 2002 Brazil exported 1,014 animals, and last year this figure was up to 15 thousand head,” he revealed.


Australia and Mexico are the world’s largest exporters of live cattle.


Agência Brasil

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