South America is increasingly dependent on a single beef market. Last year, China had 53.3% of the volume of all Brazilian meat exported. The Chinese share of revenues was even higher, at 61%.
The Argentine situation is even more concentrated. Last year, 77.6% of the volume of chilled, frozen and processed beef sent abroad was destined for the Chinese market, according to the IPCVA (Institute for the Promotion of Beef of Argentina).
The situation in Uruguay is not very different. In the first three weeks of January, the Chinese bought 54% of the beef exported by the country, according to Inac (National Meat Institute).
The scenario should not change much this year in the region, probably with Brazil gaining an even larger share of the Chinese market.
The herd of cattle shrinks in several important countries, such as the United States and Argentina, and grows in Brazil, according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).
The Chinese herd should surpass the barrier of 100 million heads this year, but consumption in the Asian country is growing at a faster pace than domestic production.
The expected recovery of the economy and the end of barriers against Covid-19 will increase consumption and increase the Chinese need for imports.
In USDA calculations, the Chinese increase beef production to 7.35 million tons, but consumption rises to 10.9 million, forcing the country to increase imports to 3.5 million. In 2019, external purchases were limited to 2.2 million tons.
World beef production remains stable at 59.2 million tons, but prices have lost the high level they had been obtaining, which facilitates Chinese imports.
Uruguay, which managed an average price of US$ 6,969 per ton in 2022, sold at US$ 5,572 at the beginning of the year.
Argentina, which exported at US$ 5,472, on average for 2022, traded at US$ 4,000 per ton in December. Some markets, like Italy, still pay as much as $8,710.
Prices obtained by Brazil also retreated, according to Secex (Secretary of Foreign Trade). In January 2022, they reached US$ 5,236, on average, a value that fell to US$ 4,843 last month.
Brazilian exports of beef and meat products totaled US$ 13.1 billion in 2022. Those from Uruguay and Argentina, including chilled, frozen and processed meats, rose to US$ 2.6 billion and US$ 3.4 billion, respectively.
shot Average prices for fruit and vegetables rose 36.7% last year, according to the Producer Price Index for Agricultural Product Groups.
shot 2 Data are from Cepea (Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics) and point to pressure from potatoes (51% more), tomatoes (23%) and bananas (52%).
shot 3 The livestock sector, pressured by milk and eggs, rose by 8%, while the grain sector grew by 7%.
more records Revenue from exports from the soy complex (grains, bran and oil) should yield US$ 65 billion this year, predicts Abiove (Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries).
More records 2 According to the association, soybean exports will reach the mark of 92 million tons, with revenues of US$ 53 billion.
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