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Brazil's chicken slaughter breaks record in 1Q21; pig up, cattle down

Brazil reports that chicken slaughter broke a record in the 1st quarter of 2021, and pig slaughter had the best quarter of the historical series, which began in 1997. Cattle slaughter was down about 10% over year ago and last quarter.

Chicken slaughter reaches 1.57 billion heads
Chicken slaughter reaches 1.57 billion heads

© Agência Brasil


The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) published the report Livestock Production Statistics: Complete Results, which gathered data for the first quarter of 2021 on slaughtering and exports of chickens, swine and cattle, in addition to the acquisition of milk and leather for the period, among other relevant data on Brazilian agricultural production.

The document reveals that the slaughter of chickens confirmed the trend already indicated by the survey of the first results, released in May, and broke another record in the first quarter of 2021, with 1.57 billion heads slaughtered. This represents an increase of 3.3% compared to the same period in 2020, and 0.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

"As the performance of chicken meat exports remained at only reasonable levels this quarter, we can consider that a good part of this increase was destined for domestic consumption," according to the report. The increase in the slaughter of chickens grew in 19 of the 25 Federation Units that participated in the survey, with emphasis on Goiás, with a growth of 16.8 million heads. In terms of regions, the South accounted for 60.4% of the national slaughter, followed by the Southeast (19.2%), Midwest (14.6%), Northeast (4.2%) and North (1.7 %).

Pig slaughter

As far as pigs are concerned, the numbers are also positive. In the first quarter of the year, 12.62 million heads were slaughtered. The number represents an increase of 5.7% (or 677.63 thousand more heads) compared to the first quarter of 2020 and 0.6% compared to the immediately previous period (fourth quarter of 2020).

“On a monthly comparison, the best results were registered for the months of January, February and March, thus determining the best first quarter of the historical series since the survey began in 1997,” as noted in the report.

The slaughter of 677.63 thousand more heads of pigs was driven by increases in 14 of the 25 Federal Units participating in the survey. Among them, Santa Catarina (which leads with 28.9% of the national participation), Paraná (20.3%) and Rio Grande do Sul (17.5%) stand out. In other words: the southern region accounted for 66.6% of the national swine slaughter, then came the Southeast (17.7%), Central-West (14.6%), Northeast (0.9%) and North (0.2%) regions.

Cattle slaughter

In the first quarter of 2021, 6.56 million heads of cattle were slaughtered, 10.6% less than that obtained in the first quarter of 2020 and 10.9% less than that recorded in the immediately previous quarter. There were reductions in 23 of the 27 Federation Units. In the historical series, the result has not reached such low levels since the first quarter of 2009.