The meteoric rise of Brazil as one of the world's foremost exporters of beef and pork has led many to see the South American giant as a juggernaut which will crowd out competition from other great exporting countries such as the United States. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), however, is convinced that opportunities exist for U.S. pork exports to Brazil.

USMEF director for Central & South America Ricardo Vernazza-Paganini and Brazil-based USMEF representative Sonia Regina Amadeo recently investigated the Brazilian pork market and gained insights on business and market opportunities for U.S. companies.

U.S. companies, particularly traders and brokers, can profit in Brazil with a thorough understanding of the market and up-to-date intelligence about what will and won't sell. U.S. cuts and product specifications differ and successful companies will design their products for the market. A strong seasonality in supply determines an irregular demand and fluctuating prices for imports throughout the year. Pork consumption is low (10 kg per capita) not only because of public perception of its safety, but also because of strong price competition from poultry.

The Brazilian pork industry's phenomenal recent success in exports has been driven by a low-cost leadership strategy and a customer-driven approach to fabrication and packaging. Nevertheless, in 2004, U.S. pork exports to Brazil soared to $10.2 million (10,280 metric tons) up from $4.2 million (2,012 metric tons) in 2003. Brazil is still a small market, but it has proven potential. Much of that potential hinges on pricing.

Source: Association Release