Total exports of pig meat – including fresh pork, sausages and processed products – by Brazil amounted to 65,036 metric tons (mt) in May, according to figures published by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA). This is the second highest monthly volume so far this year and almost 41 percent above the same month in 2015.

For the year so far, Brazil has shipped 291,900 mt of pork, or 61 percent more than in January-May last year.

These greatly increased quantities have helped support foreign exchange earnings of US$125.3 million for the month of May - 11 percent more than the previous year - and US$510.9 million for the year so far, which represents an increase of 18.1 percent compared with the first 5 months of 2015. Expressed in local currency, the month’s sales were BRL440.4 million and those for the January-May period BRL1.904 billion, increases of 27.4 percent and 48.6 percent from the respective periods last year.

Francisco Turra, ABPA chief executive, commented that the costs of production were almost US$150 higher in May than in the previous month, mainly arising from shortages and rising prices of the key feed ingredients, corn (maize) and soybeans. Domestic consumption is in decline and so the much-improved export performance last month brought at least some relief to Brazil’s hard-pressed pig meat producers.

Brazil’s pork exports to Russia up dramatically

Top destination for Brazilian pork in May was Russia, which accounted for 35.1 percent of the monthly total. For the year so far, Russia has received 101,200 mt of pork from Brazil, an increase of 37 percent from the same period of 2015.


With almost 26 percent of the total pork exported, second destination was Hong Kong, with 74,700 mt, which is 71 percent more than last year. In third place came China, which has taken 28,700 mt of Brazilian pig meat so far this year – significantly more than in 2015, when monthly totals did not exceed 122 mt in the January-May period.

“If we add the volumes shipped to China and Hong Kong, we come to a higher total than to Russia,” added Ricardo Santin, vice president of ABPA markets. ”This demonstrates the result of the industry's efforts to reduce dependence on sales to Eastern Europe.” He was speaking from Shanghai (China), where he was meeting with Chinese officials to negotiate the future expansion of Brazilian pig meat sales.

More corn released onto the market for livestock farmers

Within the last few weeks, it has been reported that a severe shortage of corn in Brazil could hold back the country’s production and exports of poultry meat and pork in the coming months.

Last week, the Brazilian agriculture ministry authorized the release for auction of 500,000 mt of corn for sale to the country’s pig and poultry producers to help ease the current feed supply situation.