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Quarterly Livestock Surveys

Animal slaughter grows in the third quarter, record of cattle and hogs and pigs

Section: Economic Statistics | Umberlândia Cabral

December 07, 2023 09h00 AM | Last Updated: December 07, 2023 03h48 PM

Cattle slaughter hit a new record: 8.93 million head in the quarter - Picture: Licia Rubinstein/IBGE News Agency

In the third quarter this year, cattle slaughter grew 12.2% in relation to the same period in 2022, adding up to 8.93 million head. It is the highest figure since the beginning of the time series of the Statistics of Livestock Production in 1997. The amount of hogs and pigs slaughtered also hit the highest level in the time series started that same year: 14.62 million head. The data were released today (7) by the IBGE.  

Cattle slaughter increased 5.5% in relation to the previous quarter. “Oxen slaughter grew, but cow slaughter grew even more. With the increase in the price of calves between 2019 and 2022, breeders began to retain cows. Slaughter of these animals resumed in the first quarter of 2023, as well as the entrance of cattle reproduced in that period in the market, going to refrigerate slaughterhouses,” explains Bernardo Viscardi, the supervisor of the survey. Compared with the same period last year, slaughter of cows increased 24.6%, whereas that of oxen rose 5.5%.

Hitting a record of 14.62 million head, slaughter of hogs and pigs grew 0.5% in relation to the same period last year and 2.9% compared with the previous quarter. Despite the drop in the previous quarter, the researcher highlights that the number of hogs and pigs slaughtered is continuously growing.

 “The increase occurs because it is a type of protein that enters in the diet of Brazilians by the supply of cuttings and sausages of practical preparation and also because it is, in general, cheaper than beef. Exports hit a new record as well. Despite the retraction in China, the main destination of the exported meat, other countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and Mexico are importing this type of protein from Brazil,” highlights him.

The number of chicken slaughtered reached 1.58 billion in the quarter. It is equivalent to an increase of 3.2% in the year and of 1.4% in the quarter. “Chicken slaughter did not reach a global record for the time series, yet it hit the highest level for a third quarter. It is a protein with a high demand, especially because it is more accessible than others. Exports remained high in the third quarter, also with the best result for this quarter. It is due to the fact that Brazil is free from avian influenza in chicken, which streamlines the foreign trade,” says the researcher. 

The production of cattle carcasses hit 2.38 million tonnes in the third quarter, an increase of 10.0% in the year. Those of chicken added up to 3.32 million tonnes, growing 3.6% in the same period. The weight of the carcasses of hogs and pigs grew 2.5% in the year, hitting 1.37 million tonnes.

Production of hen eggs hits a new record with 1.06 billion dozens

The production of eggs was another record registered by the survey in the third quarter. Nearly 1.06 billion dozens were produced in the period, a growth of 2.3% in the year and of 1.0% in the quarter. “The production has been expanding since 2020, as it is an accessible protein and considered a healthy food. Most of this production (more than 95%) goes to the domestic market. Of the total volume, nearly 81.9% go to feeding and 18.1% to incubation, to replace broilers and laying hens,” highlights Viscardi. 

In the same period, 6.23 billion liters of raw milk were acquired by establishments under some kind of sanitary inspection. This volume is equivalent to a growth of 1.3% over the same quarter last year and of 8.6% in relation to the previous quarter. Nearly 2.11 billion liters were acquired in August, the month with the highest acquisition in the quarter.

According to the Experimental Statistics of the Price of Raw Milk paid to Producer, also released today by the IBGE, the average price fell 24.7% in the year and 14.4% in the quarter. The researchers noticed a downward trend in the quarter, with the average values of R$2.45 in July and of R$2.19 in September.

The tanning houses investigated by the survey – those that carry out the tanning of at least 5 thousand whole pieces of cattle raw hide per year – reported to have acquired 8.84 million whole cattle raw hides in the third quarter. It is equivalent to an increase of 9.2% in the year and of 4.6% in the quarter.

More about the survey

The survey investigates information on the number of slaughtered animals and the total weight of carcasses, by species of cattle (oxen, cows, steers and heifers), hogs and pigs, and chicken, having as collection units establishments that slaughter animals under federal, state or municipal sanitary inspection.  The survey is released every quarter and  data are presented every month for each quarter of the civil year.

As of the first quarter of 2018, in response to users’ needs for timely information on livestock, the IBGE started releasing "First Results" of the Quarterly Survey of Animal Slaughter for Brazil, as a provisional solution.  These data are available nearly one month ahead the release of the "Complete Results”. The data can be consulted on Sidra. The next release of the complete results, related to the fourth quarter, will be on March 14, 2024.

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