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PPM 2018: cattle herd decreases and national output of milk per cow surpasses two thousand liters a year

September 20, 2019 10h00 AM | Last Updated: September 26, 2019 07h13 PM

Cattle herd recorded its second decrease in a row in 2018 (-0.7%) and amounted to 213.5 million animals. In 2017 the herd decreased by 1.5% against 2016. The year 2018 was marked by the increase of slaughter and by a record volume in the exported beef. Mato Grosso, which has been the leader in terms of cattle raising since 2004, accounted for more than 14.1%, but the municipality with the biggest cattle herd belongs to the North Region - São Félix do Xingu (PA).

The Brazilian output of milk increased once more in 2018, by 1.6%, amounting to 33.8 billion liters. The ranking of three municipalities with the biggest production were Castro (PR), Patos de Minas (MG) and Carambeí (PR). For the first time, the national productivity of milk surpassed 2 thousand liters per cow a year, with an increase of 4.7% against 2017. The average price was R$ 1.16 per liter of milk, with an increase by R$ 39.3 billion.

The total estimated number of chickens increased by 2.9% against the 2017 figure and reached 1.5 billion head. Paraná (26.2%) led the national output, followed by São Paulo (13.9%) and Rio Grande do Sul (11.1%). The municipalities with the biggest output of chickens were: Santa Maria de Jetibá (ES), followed by Cascavel (PR), Bastos (SP), Rio Verde (GO) and Uberlândia (MG).

The national output of hen's eggs hit a new record in the survey series, with a total 4.4 billion dozen in 2018, a figure 5.4% above that of 2017. The state of São Paulo was the biggest national producer, and accounted for 25.6% of the output, followed by Paraná (9,5%).

In 2018, the total quails amounted to 6.8 million birds, an increase of 3.9% against 2017, but the output of quail eggs fell by 2.1%.

Sheep and goats recorded increases of 1.8% and 4.3%, respectively. The Northeast Region accounted for 93.9% of the 10.7 million sheep and the 66.7% of the total 18.9 million goats  Bahia held 30.2% of the herd of sheep and 22.1% of the herd of goats in the country, with a highlight to the municipality of Casa Nova, in Bahia. 

A number of 41.4 million hogs and pigs was estimated in 2018, representing a slight increase of 0.1% against the previous year, with almost half of the total herd concentrated in the South Region. 

The total output of Brazilian fish farming amounted to 519.3 thousand metric tons in 2018, with an increase of 3.4% in relation to the previous year. That led to a value of output of R$ 3.3 billion. The main highlights were the species Tilápia (60%) and Tambaqui (19.7%).

The production of farmed shrimp increased 11.4%, and amounted to 45.8 thousand metric tons in 2018. Pendências (RN) became a leader in the ranking of 162 shrimp-producing  municipalities.

These results are part of the Municipal Livestock Survey (PPM) 2018. The publication and the support material are on the right of the page. 


Central West has had biggest cattle inventory since 1981

In 2018, there was an estimated inventory of 213.5 million cattle head, with a decrease of 0.7% against 2017, the second in a row after the record figure of 2016. The year registered the second consecutive increase of cattle slaughter, and the 3rd biggest slaughter of female animals since 1997, only after 2013 ad 2014, and the record slaughter of heifers in the IBGE’s Quarterly Survey of Animal Slaughter.

The Central West, which has had the biggest inventory in the country since 1981, also registered decrease in 2018 (0.4%), and, with a total 73.8 million cattle head accounted for 34.6% of the overall national output. The North (0.2%) and Northeast (0.2%) Regions were the only ones to record increase in the year, being the North the main highlight, with continuous increase since 2008.

Mato Grosso, which has held the biggest amount of cattle since 2004, accounted for 14.1% of the national overall – 30.2 million head. Among the 26 Brazilian municipalities with the biggest cattle inventories in 2018, 15 were located in the Central West and 11 in the North of the country. São Félix do Xingu, in Pará, remained in the first position, having recorded an increase of 0.7% a year, with a total 2.3 head of cattle, followed by Corumbá (MS), Ribas do Rio Pardo (MS), Cáceres (MT) and Porto Velho (RO).

Main Federation Units in terms of cattle inventories in Brazil - 2018
Federation Units Cattle herd (head) 2018 Participation of state herd in the national overall (%)
Mato Grosso 30,199,598 14.1
Goiás 22,651,910 10.6
Minas Gerais 21,810,311 10.2
Mato Grosso do Sul 20,896,700 9.8
Pará 20,628,651 9.7
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Agropecuária, Pesquisa da Pecuária Municipal 2018.

National output of milk surpasses 2 thousand liters per cow a year

The output of milk increased again in 2018, 1.6%, amounting to  33.8 billion liters, after retraction of 1.1% in 2017. The South (34.2%) and Southeast (33.9%) remain in the leadership of national output. Nevertheless, the increase in the year was mainly due to the increase of output of 10.1% in the Northeast. The South Region was the only one to record decrease against 2017 (1.6%). Castro (PR) remains as the leader in the municipal ranking, and accounts for 0.9% of the whole national output and 6.7% of the output in the state.

The total milked cows estimated in 2018 amounted to 16.4 million, a decrease of 2.9% against the previous year. The Southeast keeps the biggest national inventory of milked cows (29.2%), whereas the South (20.6%) and the Northeast (20.4%) were in the second and third position, with a slight percent difference, although with significant differences in terms of productivity.

With an increase of 4.7% against 2017, the national productivity of milk surpassed two thousand liters, for the first time, and reached 2,069 liters per cow a year. The South Region, which had bigger yield and more effective livestock in terms of output, remained as the leader among the Major Regions, with 3,437 liters per cow a year.

The average price was R$ 1.16 per liter of milk, an increase of 4.7% in relation to 2017, which resulted in a value of production of R$ 39.3 billion. A comparison between data from the Municipal Livestock Survey (PPM) and the Quarterly Survey of Milk Production Pesquisa Trimestral do Leite shows that 72.3% of the milk produced in the country had undergone sanitary inspection.

Milk production, number of milked cows and productivity - 2018
Brazil and Major Regions Milk (thousand liters) 2018 Participation (%) Number of milked cows (head) Productivity (liters/cow/year)
Brazil 33,839,864 100.0 16,357,485 2,069
South 11,588,369 34.2 3,371,200 3,437
Southeast 11,465,530 33.9 4,772,231 2,403
Central West 4,108,236 12.1 2,615,301 1,571
Northeast 4,383,566 13.0 3,344,357 1,311
North 2,294,164 6.8 2,254,396 1,018
Source: IBGE, Diretoria de Pesquisas, Coordenação de Agropecuária, Pesquisa da Pecuária Municipal 2018.


Poultry increases by 2.9% and reaches 1.5 billion head

The estimated number of poultry (chickens, roosters, hens and chicks) increased 2.9%, amounting to 1.5 billion head. The South Region, with a highlight to chickens raised for slaughter, is still responsible for almost half of the total in Brazil (46.9%). Paraná accounted for 26.2%.

Considering hens, the regional scenario is reversed: the Southeast was in the first position in the ranking, with 38.9% of the total head in the country. The estimate indicates a total 246.9 million chickens in 2018 – an increase of 2.5% against 2017. The state of São Paulo accounted for 21.9% of the hen inventory in Brazil.

Santa Maria de Jetibá (ES) had the biggest number of poultry and of hens. Other municipalities  in the ranking were Cascavel (PR), Bastos (SP), Rio Verde (GO) and Uberlândia (MG), and the ranking of hen production has Bastos (SP), Primavera do Leste (MT), São Bento do Una (PE) and Itanhandu (MG).

Production of hen eggs reaches 4.4 billion in 2018 and hits new record

The national production of hen eggs was 4.4 billion dozen in 2018, a figure 5.4% above that of 2017 and the highest in the time series of the survey, resulting in R$ 14.0 billion. The Southeast region accounted for 43.8% of the total produced in 2018. The state of São Paulo was the main national producer (25.6%).

Quail inventory increases but production of eggs decreases

In 2018, the quail inventory had 16.8 million birds, an increase of 3.9% against 2017, whereas the production of quail eggs fell by 2.1%. The Southeast is responsible for 64%, with highlight to São Paulo (24.6%) and Espírito Santo (21.0%). In the municipal ranking, Santa Maria de Jetibá (ES) is in the first position both in terms of number of animals and of production of eggs. The municipal inventory increased by 35.7% and the production of quail eggs, by  31.7% in 2018. On the other hand, Bastos (SP), in the second position, recorded decreases by 33.3% and 31.7%, respectively.

Bahia has 30.2% of the sheep her and 22.1% of the goat herd 

The herd of sheep and goats recorded increases in 2018: 1.8% and 4.3%. The Northeast was responsible for 93.9% of the 10.7 million sheep and 66.7% of the 18.9 million goats estimated for Brazil in 2018. Bahia had 30.2% of the sheep herd and 22.1% of the goat herd in the country. 

Among the 20 municipalities with the biggest herd, nine were located in Bahia, and 11 in Pernambuco. Casa Nova (BA), Petrolina (PE), Juazeiro (BA) and Curaçá (BA) led the ranking of municipalitie with the biggest herd of sheep. Casa Nova (BA) also led the ranking of municipalities with sheep raising, followed by Santana do Livramento (RS), Juazeiro (BA), Remanso (BA) and Dormentes (PE).


The remainder is temporarily in Portuguese. 

South Region concentrated almost half of the hogs and pigs

In 2018, there was an estimated 41.4 million hogs and pigs in 2018, 0.1% more than in the previous year. The South Region concentrated more than half of that figure: 49.7%. Santa Catarina was responsible for 19.2% of the national total; Paraná for 16.6% and Rio Grande do Sul for 13.8%. Out of that region, another highlight was Minas Gerais, with 12.7%. Toledo (PR), Rio Verde (GO) and Uberlândia (MG) remained in the same position in terms of production of hogs and pigs.

Estimates pointed to 4.8 million breeders – which means that, from the total inventory, 11.6% were breeders (an increase of 1.5% against last year). That was also a highlight in the South region, which had 42.2%.

Northeast recovers production of hone and Piauí produces record amount in the state

In 2018 42.3 thousand metric tons of honey were produced in the country, which is equivalent to an increase of 1.6% of the national output. The value of production was R$ 502.8 million, with a decrease of 2.2% against the previous year.

The South Region remained as the main producer (38.9%). The Northeast, which has had a long dry period since 2012, has recovered its production and contributed with 33.6%. In the state ranking,  Rio Grande do Sul produced 15.2%, Paraná 14.9%, Piauí 12.3%, São Paulo 9.8% and  Minas Gerais, 9.6%. Piauí had  the biggest quantitative increase of output in 2018, that is, more than 800 metric tons of honey, and reached its biggest production in the time series. At municipal level, Ortigueira (PR), Botucatu (SP) and Itatinga (SP) were the main producers.

Tilapia and Tambaqui are the main species of Brazilian fish farming

The overall production from Brazilian fish farming was 519.3 thousand metric tons in 2018, 3.4% more than in the previous year, which led to a value of production of R$ 3.3 billion. The South Region, which has been the main producer since 2016, kept increasing its output and it is now responsible for 32.0% of national fish farming. Since 2016, Paraná has been the leader in the ranking of states (23.4%). Nova Aurora (PR) was the main producer, followed by Aparecida do Taboado (MS), Glória (BA) and Morada Nova de Minas (MG).

Among the species collected, the highlight was Tilapia, with 311.5 thousand metric tons, or 60.0% of the total produced. Tambaqui, the second most produced species (19.7%), is predominant in the North region.

Output of shrimp increases 11.4% in 2018

The production of farmed shrimp increased 11.4%, amounting to 45.8 thousand metric tons in 2018.  The Northeast is responsible for almost all the output in the country, 99.4%. In that Major Region, the highlights are Rio Grande do Norte (43.2%) and Ceará (28.5%). Pendências (RN) became number one in the ranking of 162 municipalities that produced shrimp in 2018, followed by Aracati (CE), Canguaretama (RN) and Arês (RN). the value of production reached R$ 1.1 billion in 2018.