The shipment of more than 30,000 live steers from the Brazilian southern state of Rio Grande do Sul to Lebanon called the attention of new Arab importers.
During this weekend 13,000 steers were shipped to Lebanon through the Rio Grande Port, which is located in the south of Rio Grande do Sul. It was the third shipment to the region since the beginning of the year.
According to the president of the Rural Association of the city of Pelotas, Elmar Carlos Hadler, after sales started, another four international trading companies were interested in the purchase.
One of them is from Jordan and the other from the United Arab Emirates. According to Hadler, English and Uruguayans also consulted about the supplying possibility.
Contacts were made with the Pelotas Rural Association, but they are only just starting. The potential buyers have not yet manifested the volume and dates needs.
"We are talking," says Hadler. According to the cattle breeder, this demonstrates there is space for more Brazilian live cattle in the international market.
From the Arab side, sales to Lebanon were made through a trading company in Jordan called Livestock. The first shipment, of about 9,000 live steers, took place last March, and the second, of approximately 10,000 animals, in May.
The third and last shipment was concluded this weekend. There still aren’t new defined sales, but, according to Hadler, the breeders in the southern region are interested in continuing the process.
The Pelotas Rural Association gathers the producers responsible for supplying the cattle. The animals shipped these days were calves weighing between 150 and 280 kilos, from European breeds and crosses of European breeds with zebus, such Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Braford and Brangus.
In Lebanon they will be in confinement and fattening until they reach 450 kilos, ideal weight for slaughtering. The animals are not castrated, which ensures light beef, the most sought for by the Arabs.
The shipments to Lebanon were the first, of live cattle, made by the breeders from the southern region.
"It is a new market niche that has opened," says Hadler. It was the Pelotas Rural Association that found out that the Arabs imported the animals from Uruguay and went after the business.
According to Hadler, one of the Arabs’ demands was that the animals were of European breeds. The European breeds, according the entity’s president, ensure high quality beef.
"The quality and sanitation of the herd was taken into consideration by the Arabs when choosing our cattle," he remarked.
According to the cattle breeder, the south of the Rio Grande do Sul invests a lot in bovine genetics. As well as the initiatives by the rural producers themselves, there are associations working in improving the breeds.
Hadler states that Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and the Agriculture State Secretariat have been making important work in the field of animal sanitation.
The animals were sold to Lebanon for US$ 1.60 the kilo. The local meat packing plants are paying about US$ 1.65 the kilo, but for bullocks, in other words, older animals, ready for slaughtering, with about 450 kilos.
According to Hadler, taking into consideration the time they would still have to be fattened, business with the Lebanese was more advantageous for the cattle farmers.
"The sale also contributed to improve the price paid by the meat packing plants," he states. One month ago, the local slaughterhouses were paying US$ 1.40 for the kilo of the older animal.
In the Brazilian side, it was the international trade company Angus Trading that acted as an intermediary in the sale. In the barnyard-ship Bader III, where the cattle travelled, were also taken sheep from Uruguay.
Hadler states that, as well as Uruguay and Brazil, the Jordanian company Livestock buys live animals also from other countries such as Australia, Mexico and Canada.
Pelotas Rural Association
Telephone: +55 (53) 3223-0224
Anba – www.anba.com.br