The trade balance of the meat industry remains very positive in the first four months of the year. The Chinese performance continues as a major highlight for all proteins of animal origin. The expectation is that this prerogative is accentuated between the months of May and June, given the difficulties of facing the pandemic in the United States and in the European Union, relevant competitors. American agribusiness suffers the consequences of contamination on the factory floor, with several units interrupting activities until the disinfection process is completed. The direct consequence is a shortage in several states and difficulty in transporting production to the international market. In the European Union, distribution channels continue hampered by social isolation strategies. Australia, another relevant competitor in beef exports, has a falling herd, at the lowest level for the last twenty years.
In Brazil, the agribusiness situation is more comfortable in times of pandemic. Some units had their activities paralyzed, but the picture is not alarming yet, with regulations from the ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Economy adopted to avoid contamination on the factory floor. The fact is that Brazil has been able to maintain domestic supply and its main importers in a very satisfactory manner.
For beef, the numbers are moderately higher compared to the same period last year. In the first four months, around 801.2 thousand tons of beef were exported, against 782.57 thousand tons in the same period last year, an increase of approximately 2.4%. In terms of revenue, growth was more emblematic, nearly 21% higher than in the same period of 2019. China’s share in Brazilian shipments is quite significant. In 2020, the Asian giant imported around 299 thousand tons of beef, with a 37% share of the Brazilian market. Hong Kong has a 14.7% share. As the autonomous territory usually passes part of its imports to mainland China, adding direct with indirect shipments, they hold a 52% share of the Brazilian market.