Another record year has been achieved for Brazil’s pork production as it totalled at 4.5m tonnes in 2023 and is predicted to increase to 4.7m tonnes in 2024.

Pork consumption in Brazil is projected to increase by around 3% according to the USDA, as pork becomes a cheaper form of protein, making it more competitive against beef and chicken. The forecast growth in consumption comes from its relatively low price point compared to beef, however it is still more expensive than chicken.

Brazil’s pork exports (including offal) continued to grow for 2023, up to 1.3m tonnes. This was growth of 5% from 2022, with an uplift in volumes to nearly all key destinations, including the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Chile.

The Scottish Farmer: Brazil's annual pork productionBrazil's annual pork production

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Volumes exported to China did fall by just under 72,000 tonnes from 2022, but China remains the largest destination for Brazilian pork, totalling 388,000 tonnes in 2023.

Whilst the EU-27 as a region remains the largest overall exporter into China, higher pricing has reduced the regions competitiveness on global markets and has proved beneficial to Brazil.

Brazil’s ability to produce lower priced pork has helped cement itself as the largest individual country in volume terms to China. Volumes exported to the Philippines grew by just over 40,000 tonnes (51%) year on year, to 119,000 tonnes, Brazil’s second largest destination.

Looking into 2024, the USDA predict that pork exports will represent 32% of its total production. Export volumes are forecasted to increase between 3-5% from 2023 levels, according to Rabobank.

In the trade data, in January and February this year, Brazil’s global pork exports have increased by 12% year on year at 208,000 tonnes, and with boosted production, will likely exceed record export levels this year.

However, this is lower than previous USDA estimates by around 20,000 tonnes, as feed prices are set to be higher, with availability poorer than expected.

Rabobank note that El Nino weather patterns are set to further destabilise feed availability, impacting on pricing and net margins.