Beef, Chicken, Corn, Coffee, Sugar and Two More Commodities. Brazil Produces Them for Close to 1 Billion People

Brazil has become the global leader in the export of at least seven food commodities, following on a report distributed by BTG Pactual to its clients this week.

According to the bank, Brazil has become the world’s largest exporter of soybeans (56% globally), corn (31%), coffee (27%), sugar (44%), orange juice (76%), beef (24%), and chicken meat (33%). Additionally, it is the second-largest seller of two other commodities: ethanol and cotton.

With over 200 million inhabitants, the ‘breadbasket of the world” currently produces enough food to meet the needs of approximately 900 million people, which accounts for 11% of the global population.

The report highlights a series of figures that illustrate Brazil’s “tropical agriculture miracle.” For instance, grain production has surged from 47 million tons in 1977 to the current 312 million tons.

Agricultural productivity has increased by 58% since the year 2000 — during the same period, the growth rate was 37% in emerging countries and 32% in advanced economies.

BTG Pactual notes that agricultural financing has shifted over time from a profile based on official subsidies to a market-based approach. For the 2023/24 harvest, 67% of financing resources are private, with only 33% originating from the government.

According to the bank’s analysis, only 8% of Brazil’s territory is occupied by crops — a contrast to 14% in Argentina, 18% in the United States and China, 58% in France, and 61% in India.

“Brazilian pastures are still poor in terms of quality and productivity,” the report states, estimating that 40% of the 73 million hectares used for cattle ranching are “moderately or severely degraded.” Therefore, they could be converted into plantations, further expanding the cultivated area.



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