Brazilian beef exports to China fall, US exports rise

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In January 2024, Brazil witnessed a marked decrease in its beef exports to China and a substantial increase in beef exports to the United States.

Beef exports to China reached their lowest level since May 2023, totaling 96.320 tons, representing a 17% decline compared to December 2023. China’s share in Brazil’s total beef exports fell to 53%, the lowest level since May 2023.

On the other hand, Brazilian beef sales to the United States showed significant growth, reaching 18.130 tons in January 2024, the highest share since March 2022. The United States accounted for approximately 10% of total shipments, solidifying its position as Brazil’s second-largest partner for the third consecutive month.

Additionally, Mexico stood out in January 2024, becoming, for the first time, a destination for 4.360 tons of Brazilian beef. The reduction in tariffs for basic products since May 2022 contributed to this achievement.

Current offers from China for the purchase of Brazilian beef do not satisfy exporters needs, ranging from US $4.200 to US $4.300 per ton. In 2023, the average purchase price of Brazilian beef by China experienced an annual devaluation of 24%, reaching US $5.090 per ton.

The increased global availability of protein in China, driven by the rise in pork production, has led to a decrease in prices for imported beef. The price of live cattle in China reached its lowest level since August 2019, affecting the final value of beef.

Despite the price decline, Brazilian beef exports may face additional challenges due to the continued decrease in prices in the Chinese domestic market, limiting the potential for appreciation in sales to China, according to analysts from Agrifatto.