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Quarterly Livestock Surveys

Cattle slaughter reaches record while slaughter of chickens and of hogs and pigs fall in Q1

Section: Economic Statistics | Breno Siqueira

June 06, 2024 09h00 AM | Last Updated: June 10, 2024 06h46 PM

Cattle slaughter grows 24.6% in the first quarter and reaches a record in the time series - Photo: Licia Rubinstein

Cattle slaughter reached 9.30 million head in the 1st quarter of 2024, an increase of 24.6% compared to the same period of the previous year, and 1.6% higher compared to the 4th quarter of 2023. As a result, the slaughter of cattle broke the record in the time series, started in 1997. The slaughter of 1.59 billion chicken fell by 1.2% in relation to the 1st quarter of 2023 and increased by 4.0% in comparison with the 4th quarter of 2023.

The data comes from Livestock Production Statistics, released today (06) by the IBGE. The numbers also show that the slaughter of 13.95 million head of hogs and pigs fell by 1.6% compared to the same period in 2023 and 1.4% compared to the 4th quarter of 2023.

The survey supervisor, Bernardo Viscardi, explains the reasons for the record in cattle slaughter. “We are in a period of great animal supply for slaughter, these animals come from a cycle of greater retention of females observed between 2019 and 2022, when the price of calves was on the rise and the reproductive activity of females became attractive for livestock farmers. From mid-2022 onwards we observed the opposite trend, the price of calves fell and females were more prone to be sent to slaughter. Moreover, there were the animals raised in the previous high cycle that reached slaughter age this year”, analyzes Viscardi .

In relation to the same period in 2023, there were 1.84 million more cattle head in the 1st quarter of 2024, with increases in 23 of the 27 Federation Units (UFs). The most significant increases occurred in: Mato Grosso (+420.07 thousand head), Goiás (+263.41 thousand head), São Paulo (+219.41 thousand head), Minas Gerais (+206.49 thousand head), Pará (+180.04 thousand head), Rondônia (+155.75 thousand head), Mato Grosso do Sul (+110.36 thousand head), Bahia (+58.08 thousand head) and Paraná (+46.73 thousand head). On the other hand, the most significant negative change occurred in Rio Grande do Sul (-34.41 thousand head).

Chicken slaughter drops in annual comparison and egg production reaches record in time series

The slaughter of 1.59 billion head of chickens, in the 1st quarter of 2024, represents a drop of 1.2% compared to the same period in 2023 and an increase of 4.0% compared to the 4th quarter of that year. This result is the second highest in the survey's time series, surpassed only by the result achieved in the 1st quarter of 2023. The record slaughter in February contributed to the result. On the other hand, in March, the number of heads slaughtered was below February for the first time, considering the entire time series.

The drop in chicken slaughter is probably caused by a leveling off of meat supply in the sector. Beef, a substitute protein for chicken, has depreciated significantly in recent months, which makes it difficult to pass on costs from the poultry production chain to the end consumer”, says Mr. Viscardi.

The total of 19.15 million fewer chicken head in the 1st quarter of 2024, compared to the same period of the previous year, was determined by the drop in slaughter in 13 of the 25 FUs that are part of the survey. Among those with a share above 1.0%, falls occurred in: Rio Grande do Sul (-21.52 million head), Minas Gerais (-3.83 million head), Goiás (-2.92 million head), Bahia (-2.80 million head) and Mato Grosso (-631.25 thousand head).

The production of hen eggs reached 1.10 billion dozen, which is equivalent to an increase of 6.1% compared to the quantity recorded in the same quarter in 2023 and 2.6% compared to that recorded in the 4th quarter last year. This was the highest output ever estimated in the survey, reaching a new record in the time series, surpassing the 3rd quarter of 2023.

“Egg production is stimulated, especially in relation to eggs for consumption. It is a more affordable protein than meat and has high nutritional value”, says Mr. Viscardi.

Slaughter of hogs and pigs drops 1.6% compared to the 1st quarter of 2023

In the 1st quarter of 2024, 13.95 million head of hogs and pigs were slaughtered, a drop of 1.6% compared to the same period in 2023 and 1.4% compared to the 4th quarter of 2023. It was the period with the best months of January and February, but only the fourth best result for the month of March (4.53 million head).

“The devaluation of beef also affects the flow of pork on the domestic market”, explains Mr. Viscardi.

The slaughter of 229.81 thousand fewer heads of hogs and pigs in the 1st quarter of 2024, compared to the same period of the previous year, was driven by declines in 15 of the 24 Federation Units participating in the survey. Among the states with a share of at least 1.0%, falls occurred in: Minas Gerais (-179.32 thousand head), Rio Grande do Sul (-85.35 thousand head), Santa Catarina (-83.07 thousand head), Mato Grosso do Sul (-42.80 thousand head), Mato Grosso (-40.48 thousand head) and Goiás (-9.04 thousand head).

Milk acquisition increases by 3.3% compared to the 1st quarter of 2023

In the 1st quarter of 2024, the acquisition of 6.21 billion liters of raw milk made by establishments under some type of health inspection (Federal, State or Municipal) represented an increase of 3.3% compared to the 1st quarter of 2023 , and a decrease of 4.4% compared to the previous quarter.

“The drop compared to the last quarter of the previous year is cyclical, as we have a seasonal decline in production in some important dairy farms between these periods. In relation to the first quarter of 2023, we had lower production costs compared to last year, in addition to the appreciation of the product throughout the period and regular rainfalls between January and March. Despite the drop in prices paid to producers compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the sector showed an increase in production in this comparison”, explains the survey supervisor.

An additional amount of 198.90 million liters of milk were collected nationally, due to increases recorded in 21 of the 26 FUs participating in the Quarterly Milk Survey. The most significant positive changes occurred in: Minas Gerais (+116.11 million liters), Paraná (+27.33 million liters), Goiás (+24.29 million liters), Rondônia (+18.81 million liters), Rio de Janeiro (+5.73 million liters) and Sergipe (+5.63 million liters). On the other hand, the most relevant decreases occurred in Rio Grande do Sul (-41.78 million liters), São Paulo (-37.05 million liters) and Pernambuco (-5.96 million liters).

More about the survey

The survey provides information on the total number of slaughtered heads and the total weight of carcasses for bovine species (bulls, cows, steers and heifers), hogs and pigs and chickens, with the collection unit being the establishment that carries out the slaughter under federal, state or municipal health supervision. The survey is carried out on a quarterly basis, and for each quarter of the calendar year, data are broken down month by month.

By the first quarter of 2018, meeting user's requests for faster access to information on the livestock situation, the "First Results" of the Quarterly Animal Slaughter Survey for the Brazilian level began to be published, on a provisional basis. They are available about a month before the release of the "Complete Results”. Data can be consulted on Sidra. The next release of the first results, relating to the 2nd quarter of 2024, will be on August 13th, and the complete results, on September 5th.



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