Brazil reports 2023 pork exports up almost 10%

In 2023, Brazilian pork exports were well up on the levels achieved in 2022, and this upward trajectory is forecast to continue this year.

Pork Meat
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In 2023, Brazilian pork exports were well up on the levels achieved in 2022, and this upward trajectory is forecast to continue this year.

For 2023, exports of fresh and processed pig meat by Brazil broke the previous record.

For the 12-month period, the total product volume was 1.229 million metric tons (mmt), according to the industry body, the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA). This represented a year-on-year increase of 9.8%, it reports.

Revenue for this trade was 9.5% higher than in 2022 at US$2.818 billion.

These improvements were achieved despite some challenges, according to ABPA president, Ricardo Santin. For him, 2023 was a year of rising costs of production for Brazilian pork producers. Furthermore, he highlighted difficulties in restoring operations to their former levels of profitability.

For the month of December, ABPA reports shipments up nearly 8% year-on-year at 110,900 metric tons (mt). However, the monthly revenue of more than US$231 million was almost 9% lower than the comparable period of 2022. 

Brazil diversifies export markets in Asia

Last year, leading export destination for Brazilian pork was again China, reports ABPA. However, the volume shipped there was almost 16% lower than in 2022 at 388,600 mt.

All other countries received more products from Brazil in 2023, including Hong Kong at 126,600 mt, the Philippines (126,000 mt), Chile (87,500 mt), Singapore (64,300 mt), Uruguay (49,100 mt), Vietnam (47,800 mt) and Japan (40,300 mt).

With the exception of Vietnam, all these destinations increased their uptake from Brazil by more than 10% year-on-year. For the Philippines, the growth was more than 58%.

Within Brazil, the southern states are the source of most of the nation’s exported pig meat. By some margin, the leading state is Santa Catarina (663,300 mt), followed by Rio Grande do Sul (280,900 mt), and ParanĂ  (169,900 mt). The largest year-on-year increase was just over 44% from Mato Grosso to 31,100 mt.

For ABPA Markets Director Luis Rua, a highlight in the nation’s recent export performance was the opening up of new export markets in the latter six months of 2023.

For this reason and the continued demand for Brazilian pork from its traditional destinations, Santin forecasts similar levels of trade in 2024. 

Brazil’s producers benefit from lower costs

Latest figures published comparing costs of production in leading countries are for 2022.

According to data from InterPIG cited by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board of the U.K. one month ago, total costs were lowest among the leading producing countries in Brazil. Figures are presented in U.K. pounds (GBP) per kilo cold deadweight

The lowest total was GBP1.23 for the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, just ahead of Santa Caterina state at GBP1.41.

For comparison, GBP1.58 per kilo was the average cost of production in the United States, and Italy’s total was GBP2.50. This was more than twice as high as in Brazil’s Mato Grosso.

After an 11-month hiatus, classical swine fever (CSF) was confirmed again in Brazil in November 2023.

So far, only two outbreaks have been officially reported, and they affected small backyard herds in Piauí. This state is in the far north of Brazil, not part of the country’s CSF-free zone, and far away from the pork-exporting states.

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