Brazilian swine slaughter in Q2 is biggest in 25 years

Brazilian swine slaughter in Q2 is biggest in 25 years
Photo: Alf Ribeiro/Shutterstock

The slaughter of pigs in Q2 of this year was the highest seen in Brazil since 1997, the beginning of the historical series. Between April and June, 14.07 million pigs were slaughtered in the country, up 7.2 percent from the same period in 2021 and 3 percent from Q1 2022, according to a survey by the Brazilian statistics bureau IBGE. 

Swine slaughter was up in 19 of the 25 states surveyed. As usual, the three states in Brazil’s Southern region — Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul — accounted for the bulk of national swine slaughter (more than 66 percent).

An increase in the domestic consumption of pork is one of the factors that explain the growth in animal slaughter in recent months. Pork has been replacing increasingly expensive beef in Brazilian homes. In the 12-month period ending in May, pork was the only meat with a price drop, down 5.52 percent. 

Meanwhile, the price of beef had risen 7.35 percent, and that of chicken, by more than 20 percent.

A drop in pork exports, mainly due to the resumption of Chinese production in the sector, also explains the surplus in hogs supply in the domestic market. With a greater supply, protein prices started to fall. 

“Exports fell by 11.4 percent compared with last year, largely due to the replacement of the Chinese swine herd after the control of the African swine fever. Despite that, China continues to be the main destination for Brazilian pork with a share of 36.8 percent of exports,” said Bernardo Viscardi, supervisor of livestock indicators at the IBGE.

At the same time, producers have also started dealing with an increase in production costs, with pressure on prices of animal feed and transport. 

Last month, the cost of swine production in Santa Catarina, the main producing state, rose 2.8 percent compared with June, according to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). Compared with July last year, costs increased more than 6 percent.