For the third consecutive year, Brazilian cattle ranchers had a loss of revenue, in spite of record beef exports, reports the president of the Cattle Forum (Fórum Nacional Permanente da Pecuária de Corte), Antenor Nogueira.
The math is simple, says Nogueira. Operational costs rose 10.1% in 2004 and 6.41% in 2005 while the price of beef dropped around 12% during the same period. And in 2005 the appearance of foot and mouth disease made things worse.
Nogueira emphasizes that foot and mouth disease must be eradicated from all of South America as soon as possible if the region is to continue being an important player on the international beef market.
Nogueira says that Brazilian cattle ranchers, faced with falling income, are sending more cows to the slaughterhouse and that will have consequences.
He reports that in 2005, 40% of all the cattle slaughtered in Brazil were cows and that can only mean fewer calves in the near future.
Nogueira concluded by saying that the export sector outlook remains bright. Beef export revenue was up 22.4%, going from US$ 2.57 billion in 2004, to US$ 3.15 billion last year. And 2006 may be even better, said Nogueira.