The number of cattle that will be intensively fed in Brazil during 2006 will be down 9% compared to 2005 levels, to just over 2.1 million head.
According to Agra FNP grainfed cattle are expected to comprise just 5.2% of the total number of animals forecast to be slaughtered in Brazil during 2006. In contrast, grainfed cattle account for approximately 33% of the cattle slaughtered in Australia.
However, cattle husbandry in Brazil varies between the different states. The decline in numbers on average could be attributed to weaker beef prices, which in some states have fallen below production costs. Although beef production increased by 9.8% in the first five months of 2006 compared with 2005, the growth is regarded depressed taking in account the bad conditions in 2005 due to drought and deteriorating pasture lands combined with foot and mouth disease related trade embargoes.
Due to the drought conditions, the Agra FNP expects that the current high rate of cattle slaughter will be unsustainable for the rest of the year, unless there is significant growth in intensive fattening. This recent survey of placement intentions does not indicate such growth is likely.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)