Brazilian cattle slaughter down in the first quarter of 2015 (IBGE)

09 July 2015

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geographic and Statistics (IBGE) quarterly survey, Brazilian cattle slaughter during the first quarter of 2015 declined 8% year-on-year and 9% on the previous quarter, totaling 7.7 million head. Female cattle slaughter accounted for 44% of the total, registering the lowest percentage of females for the same period since 2011. The overall decline is a result of the ongoing tight availability of cattle ready to slaughter and high steer and calf prices.

In line with trends seen in slaughter, and despite the 2% increase in the average carcass weight (237.5 kg/head), beef production dropped 6% on the previous year, to 1.8 million tonnes cwt in the first quarter. There was a reduction in cattle slaughter across most regions of Brazil, with Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás states registering large declines. Despite the lower number of cattle slaughtered, Mato Grosso state remains the major beef producer in the country.

Led by the high calf prices, producers are retaining cows, further limiting beef supplies, but indicating a possible recovery of the herd in the coming years. Many producing regions in Brazil are receiving above average rain this winter, which will assist pasture growth and animal weight gain.

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