Photo of Brazilian pork exports regain ground

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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Brazilian pork exports regain ground

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In recent months, fresh/frozen pork exports from Brazil have regained some lost ground from the first half of last year. This has put the country in a much better position heading into 2019.

Exports during the first six months of last year were 20% down on the same period in 2017, due to the effective closure of the Russian market. During this time, nearly three times more product was diverted to China.

The second half of 2018 however told a different tale. Global exports from Brazil for this period totalled just under 312,400 tonnes, a 31% rise from the first six months and an R$540 million increase in value. Volumes were also 5% higher year-on-year, although as prices remained low compared to 2017 value was still 4% lower. The quickened export pace was bolstered by continuing growth in shipments to China in particular, which took over three times the amount of Brazilian pork in 2018 (155,900 tonnes) than it did the previous year. Increased demand was also seen in several other Asian and South American countries and Russia partially lifted the ban on Brazilian pork in November.


The rapid pace of Brazilian exports later in the year helped to ease the pain of losses experienced in the first 6 months of 2018. The total annual pork export figure stands at 550,400 tonnes, only 7% lower than 2017.

Looking forward to 2019, the USDA forecast Brazilian pork production to be up 3% on last year, with exports expected to increase by 7%. Exports are expected to be boosted by growing Chinese demand, due to supply shortages caused by ASF, and the reopening of the Russian market (albeit to a limited number of plants). The expected growth of the Brazilian economy during 2019 will also likely help domestic demand, although there may be political uncertainty around the implementation of reforms under the new Bolsonaro administration.


Hannah Clarke, Trainee Analyst 693 5745