Meat consumption in Brazil, the world’s biggest beef and chicken exporter, fell sharply this year as rising food prices curbs demand. What’s most curious: more than 90 percent of Brazilians say they don’t want to return to their past meat-eating habits.
Some 67 percent of Brazilians ate less animal protein in the past 12 months than in the year before, according to research from the Good Food Institute (GFI) and Toluna, a global research firm. While most of them mentioned higher prices as the main reason for the cut back, more than a third said health concerns were the principal motivation for changing habits. About half of those said the change was self motivated.
Brazil joins the list of big meat markets that curbed consumption amid rising prices, sparked by higher feed and logistic costs and lower supplies as exports to Asia soared. Similar changes hit beef sales in Argentina and the United States, which along with Brazil are the biggest consumers of the red meat.
One-in-three Brazilians curbing meat consumption adopted plant-based fake meat as a replacement, up from 25 percent a year earlier. Such products are most popular among buyers that slashed meat from the diet for health issues, but are also being chosen by customers hurt by food inflation, the GFI said.
Only 7 percent of Brazilians said they want to eat more meat next year. In the group that is already buying less animal protein, 93 percent said they plan to keep their current diet or reduce meat further. “There’s no immediate anxiety to increase meat consumption,” GFI, said mentioning a promising outlook for plant-based meat substitutes in Brazil. “Those who curbs meat consumption enter a journey to cut it even more.”
Australian beef output is poised to ramp up in the first half of next year as the herd continues to rebuild, increasing supply for markets in the US, Japan and South Korea, according to a major agribusiness lender.
Favorable seasonal conditions have improved pastures, allowing producers to keep expanding cattle numbers following years of drought, which ended in 2020, according to Australia’s Rural Bank in its agriculture outlook.
With increased slaughter rates, beef production is likely to rise 5 percent in the first half, though it will remain well below average, the bank said. The pace of slaughter will continue to be limited by a lack of labor, it said.
The demand picture is mixed across major export markets, the bank said. There are growing opportunities for Australia’s beef producers to export into Japan and South Korea as US shipments decline through the year, supporting global prices. US demand is seen increasing through June as culling rates fall.
Meanwhile, Chinese demand for imported beef is forecast to fall slightly as domestic supplies expand, the bank said. Additionally, importers in Asia’s biggest economy are likely to favor Brazilian supplies, as bans on several Australian abattoirs remain in place, it said.
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