Brazil’s big beef-up

by Editor
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All up, Brazil now accounts for about 32pc of beef exports worldside - and is hungry for more of the market. This has been achieved in just 15 years in turning the country around from being a major beef importer to being the biggest exporter of beef in the world.

Despite being locked out of 56pc of the world's import markets - including Australia's key export markets, Japan and Korea - exports by the beef production powerhouse have increased five-fold in the past seven years, to 2.5 million tonnes.

The head of one of Brazil’s biggest beef exporters says investment in infrastructure and improving the national herd’s health status will be key to helping Brazil crack new export markets.

Fernando Galletti de Queiroz is chief executive of Minerva SA – the fastest-growing beef processor in Brazil and the country’s third biggest exporter.

Mr de Querioz said road works were already underway to connect Brazil to the Pacific region (almost all the country’s exports leave via the Atlantic coast) and tap into lucrative Pacific markets such as Korea and Japan when they open.

Brazil’s move towards more intensive grazing systems, fuelled by an endless water supply, had increased cash flow on-farm and provided efficiencies in soil recuperation and management.

Cross breeding programs, especially between the predominant Nelore (Bos indicus) cattle and Angus, Simmental and Canchim (a breed based on Charolais and specially designed for Brazilian production systems) crosses had improved growth rates, quality and fertility.