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Where did Brazil's pork exports go in 2023?

China continued to be the main export destination, despite a 16% decrease in shipments.

With shipments of around 1.2 million tons and a 12.3% share of total world exports of pork products and by-products, Brazil maintained its fourth-place ranking of global exporters in 2023.

In 2023, 54.6% of Brazilian exports were from the federative unit of Santa Catarina, followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná with shares of 23.1% and 14% respectively. Together these three states accounted for over 90% of the country's pork exports last year.

The port of Itajaí accounted for 34.41% of exports, 23.62% were from the port of Sao Francisco do Sul, 16.05% from the port of Paranaguá, 11.59% from the port of Rio Grande, and the remaining 14% from other customs offices, including Sao Borja.

Pork cuts accounted for 89.06% of total pork exports in 2023, offal and fat accounted for 8.36% and 1.21% respectively, while products such as processed products, carcasses, hides, and skins accounted for only 1.4%.

In the last year, 67.04% of Brazilian exports went to the Asian continent, while 19.77% went to the Americas. Africa (8.34%), the Middle East (3.96%), Europe (non-EU countries) (0.76%), and Oceania (0.04%) accounted for 13% of the destinations for Brazilian pork in 2023.

Brazilian pork reached 89 international markets in 2023. However, just 5 of these (China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Chile, and Singapore) accounted for more than 65% of total exports for the year.

China was the main export destination in 2023, even though shipments to the country fell by 15.56% compared to 2022, from 460,260 t to 388,655 t.

With the exception of China and Argentina, shipments to most export destinations last year saw significant growth compared to 2022. For the first time, pork exports to Mexico reached 28,601 tons.

333 Latin America with Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) data/ Brazil.
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A look at China's current swine market

China's pork imports plummet as domestic prices fall and supply stabilizes.

Historically, domestic pork prices in China have been significantly higher than in the international market, creating pressure to import. However, in the first few months of this year, pork imports have decreased considerably. From January to May, China imported 427,000 tons of pork, a year-on-year decrease of 47.1%. The import value was US$830 million, a year-on-year decrease of 57.3%. Spain, Brazil, Chile, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States together accounted for 81.0% of China's total imports. China imported a total of 201,000 tons from EU countries, accounting for 47.1%, a decrease of 3.8% from the same period last year.

Abundant supply and falling pork prices will drive import demand to a rapid decline to normal levels. Although pork imports are expected to fall back to the level before African swine fever, they will remain above one million tons.

From the production side, under the joint influence of market guidance and production capacity regulation, the national sow inventory has continued to decline since last year. At the end of May, the inventory of breeding sows was 39.96 million, a month-on-month increase of 0.2% and a year-on-year decrease of 6.2%. From January to May, designated pig slaughtering enterprises slaughtered 136.04 million pigs, a year-on-year increase of 0.8%. Since February, the slaughter volume has been lower than the same period last year. In May, designated pig slaughtering enterprises above designated size slaughtered 26.66 million pigs, a year-on-year decrease of 5.0%.

From the perspective of live weight, although it is higher than the same period last year, it is slightly lower than the previous month, indicating that the stock of medium and large pigs has decreased. The decline in the number of sows has led to an adaptive reduction in pig production, and the situation of oversupply of pigs has been basically reversed, and supply and demand have basically achieved balance. According to the monitoring of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, from December last year to May this year, the number of newborn piglets in the country has decreased slightly year-on-year. Calculated based on a 6-month fattening cycle, in the next six months, the number of live pigs on the market will be lower than the same period last year. On the other hand, pork consumption will gradually strengthen in the second half of the year and reach a peak in the fourth quarter. In other words, the pork market in the second half of the year will show a trend of weak supply and strong demand, and pork prices are expected to maintain an overall upward trend.

July 2, 2024/ Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/ China.
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Argentina slaughtered nearly 4 million pigs in first semester of 2024

Buenos Aires accounted for more than 50% of the slaughter for the period.

A total of 3,981,061 head of pigs were slaughtered in the first half of the year, an increase of 1.0% compared to the same period in 2023.

By province, Buenos Aires accounted for 51.1% of the slaughter for the semester, with 2,032,657 head, while Santa Fe and Córdoba accounted for 17.9% and 16.2%, respectively.

In June, slaughter reached 660,757 head, a decrease of 1.8% compared to the same month of the previous year and an 11.2% decrease compared to May.

July 16, 2024/ 333 Latin America with data from the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishing of the Ministry of Economy of Argentina/ Argentina.  
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