Brazil during March exported 203,490 tons of beef, up 28% year on year, and the UN Department of Agriculture anticipated that the country is projected to become once again the largest beef exporter in 2022., with shipments 12,1% higher than in 2021.
Brazil has been the largest beef exporter running for the last five years, and since becoming the leading exporter in 2004, it has been at the top of the ranking in 14 out of the last 20 years.
Brazil is projected to account for 22% of global beef exports. After disruptions in 2021, Brazil has resumed exporting beef to China/Hong Kong.
Exports to the U.S. increased by 131% in 2021 and are sharply higher so far in 2022, following increased Brazilian market access to the fresh product in early 2021. However, Brazil will encounter sharply higher tariff rates in 2022 for exports to the U.S. once the “other country” Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) is met.
According to the Brazilian Meatpacking Association (Abrafrigo), income generated from beef and processed products during March grew 57% reaching US$ 1.124 billion, an all-time high for March.
“In addition to exports growth, average product prices rose from US$4,415 (per ton) last year to US$5,319, considering the first three months of the year,” Abrafrigo said in a note.
Beef exports totaled 545,751 tons from January through March, 33% more than in the same period in 2021, generating US$2.9 billion, a 60% increase
China continues to lead among importers, with 188,236 tons in the quarter (+30.6%) and when added to Hong Kong, beef exports to China totaled 275.300 tons and US$ 1.658 billion, 50.45% and 57.11%, respectively, compared to the first quarter. According to Abrafrigo, the United States ranked second in the quarter, with 69,799 tons (+395%).
Overall the tier of beef exporting countries includes U.S., India and Australia in that order and with roughly the same volume of exports. By a small margin, the latest USDA forecast is for the U.S. to be the second-largest beef exporting country for the second consecutive year in 2022.
India is forecast to be the third-largest beef exporting country in 2022, with sales increasing year over year from 2021 levels. India was the largest global beef exporter from 2014 to 2016 but slowed and declined to a recent low in 2020 before recovering. Production of bovine meat in India includes beef and meat from water buffalo (carabeef).
Australia is forecast to be the fourth-largest beef exporting country in 2022. Beef production in Australia dropped to the lowest level in more than two decades in 2021 as the industry began to rebuild after several years of drought-forced liquidation. Beef exports are forecast to increase by 14.2% year over year in 2022. Australia accounted for just 12.3% of U.S. beef imports in 2021, the lowest on record. This compares to an average share of nearly 29% for the prior 20 years.
The top four beef exporting countries represent about 60% of the 2022 projected global total in the USDA report. The third tier of beef exporting countries begins at about half the level of Australia, including Argentina, the E.U., New Zealand, Canada and Uruguay.
Exports from these five countries are projected to decrease by 3.4% in 2022, with only the E. U. showing a slight increase in exports. Together, the top nine exporting countries are forecast to account for nearly 87% of global beef exports in 2022. Additionally, beef exports from Mexico and Paraguay are forecast at slightly more than half of the Argentina level and bring the total share of the top eleven beef exporters to 93% of the global total in 2022.