Cepea, May 5, 2020 – CATTLE – Despite the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian cattle market remained relatively firm in April. The CEPEA/B3 Index for fed cattle oscillated between 195.00 BRL and 203.00 BRL along the month, but the average between April 1st and 30, at 199.56 BRL, was only 0.4% lower than that from March/2020.
Quotes were underpinned by the low supply of animals ready for slaughter (end of season period). In some regions, agents consulted by Cepea indicated that pastures conditions allowed cattle growers to keep animals on farms, expecting prices to rise. In this case, despite the lower rainfall in the last weeks, in some properties, soil moisture was still considered good, which, added to the ideal management by cattle growers, helps to keep the supply of fed cattle low. On the other hand, some farmers from SP reported that pastures conditions have started to decrease because of the lack of rains.
In the beef market, demand was stable in April too, primarily for cheaper cuts, and prices remained firm in the wholesale market of the Greater São Paulo – opposite to pork and chicken meat quotes. In general, besides the low supply of animals ready for slaughter, prices were underpinned by the fast exports pace for the Brazilian beef.
HOG – Uncertainties in the Brazilian swine sector, caused by the covid-19 pandemic, pressed down live hog quotes in April, which dropped to the lowest level in a year’s time.
As regards the demand for live hog, slaughterhouses reduced the slaughter pace, purchasing new batches only when extremely necessary. On farms, growers lowered asking prices, aiming to sell the animals. In that scenario, live hog quotes decreased consecutively in April, and the month registered the steepest drop in all regional Cepea series, which, in some cases, started back in 2002.
POULTRY – Prices dropped in the Brazilian poultry sector in April. Difficulties to sell the products in the domestic market, primarily because of the lower demand from restaurants, hotels and school, among others, pressed down quotes. As production (live chicken and meat) is higher than demand, sellers lowered asking prices, aiming to increase liquidity. Agents from the sector reported that some processors may reduce hatchery and, consequently, production, aiming to adjust the availability of chicken meat in the market.
As for chicken cuts, the steepest price drops were registered for the chilled products, which have shorter shelf life. These products are largely sold to these food services, which reduced activities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the steep price drops for live chicken in April, the purchase power of the poultry growers from São Paulo State against corn and soybean meal was the lowest since May 2018.
EXPORTS – The Brazilian exports of in natura chicken meat remained firm in April. According to data from Secex, the daily average of shipments in the first 16 working days of the month was at 15.5 thousand tons. Although that is 2.5% lower than the average in April 2019, it is 5% higher than that in March 2020.