Brazil seen slaughtering record number of cattle in 2013

The world’s top beef producer Brazil will likely slaughter a record number of cattle in 2013, 11 per cent more than in 2012, the country’s No. 3 meatpacker Minerva Foods said Tuesday.

Cattle prices are some 21 per cent lower than in other producing nations such as the United States, encouraging beef companies, which buy those cattle, to produce and sell more meat, said Fabiano Tito, who is in charge of market research for Minerva.

“We have a record supply of animals for slaughter this year and prices are being maintained by a very strong demand that is being reflected in the whole production chain,” he said at an event in Barretos, Sao Paulo state.

Export volumes of beef are very strong thanks to a weaker Brazilian currency that has made the local supply more attractive to foreign buyers. So far export volumes have remained above the previous record export average reached in 2007, he said.

Tito said 106,000 tonnes of beef could be exported in August after 105,000 tonnes were shipped abroad in July.

Minerva exports some two thirds of its beef products. It trails JBS and Marfrig in beef output.

— Reporting for Reuters by Fabiola Gomes, writing by Caroline Stauffer and Bob Burgdorfer.

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