Porto Alegre, August 13, 2020 – Over the past two weeks, Brazil’s prices of live pigs and carcasses reacted in the United States, with slaughterhouses boosting slaughter and acting more intensively in the purchase of animals. On the other hand, retail prices tend to fall slightly, as the meat supply enters the market, noting that there was a scenario of scarcity in recent months, due to the closing of slaughterhouses due to a large number of cases of COVID-19 amid workers. U.S. slaughter returned to pre-crisis levels, with an estimate of 11.5 to 12 million head slaughtered in July.
However, despite the recovery, prices are still at low levels, since there are still many pigs crowding the farms, a situation that will take time to be fixed. It is also worth noting that the Chinese supply situation remains serious, so much so that pork has risen week after week in its market. Moreover, the Chinese will not be able to supply themselves with pork satisfactorily if tensions deepen and the country stops buying from the United States.
The recent numbers of U.S. pork exports to China attracted attention, considering that the data for July were the weakest for the year, while those for Brazil have been firm. In July, Brazil exported 48,854 tons of frozen pork to China, according to COMEX data. The United States exported 45,132 tons to China. It is the first month of the year that Brazil surpasses the U.S. pork exports to that destination.
The USDA’s weekly report, released last Thursday (6), showed that China bought 5.631 mln tons of U.S. pork in the week ending July 30. Effective shipments from China for the week amounted to 8.989 mln tons, the lowest weekly volume shipped this year. The volume of U.S. pork shipped to the Chinese in 2020 is now at 458,971 tons. It is worth mentioning that 368.69 mln tons were exported last year.