Low animal supply and firm international demand push up Index in February

Cepea, March 3, 2020 – CATTLE – The supply of animals for slaughter was not high in February, due, among other factors, to the hot weather in some Brazilian regions – although rains favored pastures, high temperatures made cattle unwilling to feed, preventing them from reaching the ideal weight for slaughter. Demand, in turn, continued firm, mainly from the international market. In this scenario, fed cattle prices increased in February in most of the Brazilian regions surveyed by Cepea.

 

Between January 31 and February 28, the CEPEA/B3 Index for fed cattle (São Paulo State) increased 5.7%, closing at 201.75 BRL (44.91 USD) on February 28. In February, the Index averaged 197.05 BRL, 2.07% higher than in January.

 

EXPORTS – In January, the Brazilian beef exports hit a record for the month, totaling 117 thousand tons (with a daily average of shipments at 5.3 tons), 7.94% higher than the previous record, hit in 2007 (108.4 thousand tons). Besides the high volume exported, the average price for the beef exported, at 4,922 USD per ton, was a record for the month too.

Last month (until February 14), the exports pace was even faster, with a daily average at 6.1 tons, according to Secex.

 

HOG – The lower supply of animals within the ideal weight for slaughter underpinned live hog prices in most of the regions surveyed by Cepea in February. The upward trend of quotes was observed despite the fact that agents from slaughterhouses were trying to pay less for new animal batches – these agents claimed difficulties to pass on the price rises for live hog to pork meat.

 

Among the regions surveyed by Cepea, the sharpest price rise for live hog in February was observed in Western Santa Catarina, at a staggering 7.2%, to 5.39 BRL per kilo in that region. Prices rose sharply in the SP-5 region (Piracicaba, Campinas, Bragança Paulista, São Paulo e Sorocaba) too, by 7.1%, averaging 5.66 BRL/kg on Feb. 28.

 

As regards pork exports, in January, Brazilian shipments had the best performance for the month in all Secex series (1997), totaling 68 thousand tons (with a daily average of 2.7 tons). In February, the daily average of shipments was even higher, at 3.2 tons. The sharp exports increase may be linked to the health issues in China, whose hog production has been severely affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks.

 

POULTRY – After the low performance observed in January, the Brazilian exports of broiler meat increased slightly in February. According to data from Secex, last month, the daily average of shipments was at 18 thousand tons – against 13.7 thousand in January. According to Cepea collaborators, higher exports were linked to the demand from China, which increased imports. It is worth to mention that China is going through a health crisis (African Swine Fever, bird flu and Covid-19), and that the transportation of animals and feed has been forbidden in some areas of the country.

 

This scenario contributed to reduce the availability of broiler meat and consequently live chicken in the Brazilian market, slightly pushing up quotes in February. Besides, the valuations of corn and soybean meal led many chicken farmers to increase the prices asked for the animals. Still, the competitiveness of broiler meat increased against beef and pork, whose prices rose more sharply.

 

However, on the average of the month, live chicken and broiler meat quotes were lower than in January.

 

 (Cepea-Brazil)

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