Minerva slaughter numbers down while exports to China increase

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Minerva slaughter numbers down while exports to China increase

Related tags Beef Minerva Brazil Argentina China Paraguay Uruguay

South American processor Minerva has reported a significant drop in cattle slaughtered for the third quarter of the year however overall exports to China have risen.

In its industry overview for the third quarter, it reported that slaughter volume totaled 5.8 million head of cattle, slightly less than in the previous quarter and down 10% from the same period in 2018.

It attributed the year-on-year drop to a substantial rise slaughter volume in 2018 due to volume carried over from the previous quarter because of the truck drivers’ strike.

In its report, it outlined how Brazilian beef exports were up 11% year-on-year, although gave the caveat that new methodology by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade for calculating export data had a positive impact on the figures.

Minerva reported that China and Egypt accounted for 43% of Brazilian export revenue in the third quarter of 2019 and were the main importers of Brazilian beef. Hong Kong was the third main destination, with 14% of total exports, followed by Chile, with 9%.

Looking ahead, it said that the outlook for the export market remains positive, especially due to high demand from China.

The business noted that China has been increasing its animal protein import volume since the end of last year, as a result of the outbreak of African Swine Fever surmising that this led to the country authorizing 17 new industrial cattle slaughter and deboning units, which will further boost the volume of exports to China in the coming months.

It reported that Paraguay exported around 69,000 tons in the quarter, 21% higher than in second quarter of the year and 3% lower year-on-year. Export revenue reached US$291m in Paraguay, 27% more than in the previous quarter, but 2% less than in the same period last year. Chile maintained its position as the main destination of Paraguayan exports, with 29% of the total, while Russia was the second main destination, with 26% of the total, followed by Israel and Brazil.

Uruguayan exports were down 12% from the second quarter and up 3% on 2018. Export revenue reached US$456m in the quarter, 17% higher than the same quarter in 2018. China continued to be the main destination of Uruguayan exports, with 64% of the total. The Netherlands and United States were the second and third main destinations of Uruguayan exports, respectively, accounting for 9% of exports each.

Argentinian exports totaled 144,000 tons, increasing 12% quarterly and jumping 41% year-on-year. Export revenue totaled US$790m in the quarter, up 41% year-on-year. China was once again the main destination of Argentinean exports, again accounting for 64% of the total), followed by Germany and Chile, with 9% and 8% of total export revenue, respectively.

Minerva recently entered into a joint venture to explore more opportunities in the Chinese market​ and "meet the growing demand for beef"​ from the region.

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