policy issues


The AFIA recently completed a market assessment of Brazil for U.S. feed additives using Emerging Markets Program funds obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Findings can be found in the report here.

Brazil is an economic leader in Latin America and is well respected in international arenas. A growing livestock, poultry and aquaculture sector make Brazil suitable for niche markets such as feed additives and ingredients from the United States. As corn and soybean meal prices continue to rise and put pressure on the animal production industry, feed additives and ingredients can play a critical role in relieving financial pressure and instability while ensuring a nutritious and complete diet for the animals. Particularly as Brazil negotiates trade agreements, it is imperative that the U.S. animal food industry develops strong ties with Brazilian producers now, ensuring American products become the foundation of industry progress.


Brazil’s agricultural value, including crop cultivation and livestock production, grew an average of 8% per year over the past two decades, doubling agricultural output and tripling livestock production. Brazil has transformed from an exporter of tropical agricultural goods like coffee and sugar to a major global commodity supplier. Expanding trade, and diversifying markets and products is at the core of Brazil’s growth strategy for agriculture. Headwinds like increased fuel and fertilizer costs, credit and storage limitations, environmental pressures and an overtaxed transportation system are major challenges to long-term growth (USDA ERS).

Brazil’s cattle production is estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service office in Sao Paolo (FAS Post) to expand 3% in 2022 and 1% in 2023, producing 48.2 million head. This expansion is driven by strong global demand, high beef prices and general growth of the industry. Still, Brazilian ranchers will be challenged by increased production costs (including feed prices), inflation and variable weather.

Meanwhile, the swine sector is predicted to reduce stocks in 2022 and 2023. Pork production is expected to decrease on account of unfavorable weather and increased production costs, especially feed costs. Corn and soybeans are considered the main animal feed inputs and global food inflation, the conflict in Ukraine and weather conditions have kept prices for these crops high. Furthermore, fertilizer prices have steadily grown and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has created additional volatility in fertilizer pricing (FAS GAIN).

Brazil is the world’s second-largest producer and largest exporter of chicken meat. FAS Post forecasts the export volume for 2023 at 5 million metric tons, a 6% increase year-over-year. Production is estimated at 14.85 million metric tons in 2023, a historical record and a 3% increase year-over-year. This is thanks to both improved domestic consumption and strong global demand. China is Brazil’s top export market and accounts for 34% of Brazil’s total production. Pricing has been impacted by steep increases in input costs, which have risen 5-20% from January to July of 2022 (FAS GAIN). 

Brazil’s aquaculture sector is becoming increasingly competitive globally, with production increasing on an industrial scale and improvements in product quality. The sector continues to develop from an organizational standpoint and from an investment perspective. Tilapia makes up the largest share of farmed fish production in Brazil. In the second half of 2022, export value doubled and increased 14% by volume compared to the same period of 2021, with sales reaching $14.3 million, demonstrating a shift in value-added (Intrafish, Mercopress). Artisanal fisheries dominate the northern regions of the country and industrial fisheries dominate the south. Consumer interests in aquaculture products as an alternative protein have increased and provide a keen opportunity for U.S. feed additives and ingredients to support a growing industry.


Brazil is ranked sixth in per capita consumption of meat, including beef, pork, poultry and sheep, behind the United States, Israel, Australia, Argentina and Chile, at 78.48 kg/capita in 2020, or 28.8 million tons. Poultry is the most consumed kind of animal protein within Brazil, followed by beef, then pork.

FAS Post forecasts that beef consumption will increase 1% in 2023 thanks to stable prices in the market. COVID-19 has changed meat consumption in Brazil with total meat consumption falling to the lowest level since 1996. Domestic beef demand fell due to high prices, 24.8 kg annual per capita, down 8% from pre-pandemic levels. Pork consumption increased during the pandemic to 17.5 kg per person in 2022, 5% higher than in 2020. Chicken consumption increased as well, up 2% in 2021 to 48 kg per person and ending 2022 at 48.6 kg (National Supply Company, CONAB).

Milk consumption in Brazil fell during COVID-19 due to effects of both the pandemic and economic hardship. Despite slight recovery in 2021, consumption again fell in 2022 by 4%, but a recovery of 3% is expected for 2023. Dairy products like cheese, milk powder and butter are expected to have decreased production due to higher costs and low milk availability, as well as reduced consumer demand. The dairy sector in Brazil continues to face challenges of high production costs, unpredictable weather and economic conditions hampering demand, but FAS Post does expect some recovery in 2023 (FAS GAIN).

Regulatory and Policy Environment

Antibiotics Ban: In 2019, the Brazilian government's Department of Agricultural Defense (SDA) implemented new restrictions on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal agriculture. Under the new regulations, antibiotics that were previously used solely for growth promotion purposes are now classified as veterinary prescription drugs. This means that their use must be strictly regulated and supervised by veterinarians. The SDA aims to ensure that antibiotics are only administered to animals for therapeutic purposes, such as treating diseases or preventing infections.

Sustainability: Brazil last updated its nationally determined contributions (NDC) in March 2022, which set out parties' targets and commitments to climate action. Brazil has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Brazil's commitments also include a long-term objective: achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Feed Sector Development: The Brazilian government has implemented programs aimed at improving livestock production and efficiency. These programs focus on genetic selection, animal nutrition, health management and the adoption of modern farming techniques to enhance productivity while minimizing environmental impacts. The government has also encouraged the adoption of technology and innovation in livestock and aquaculture production.

Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate Requirement: For several years, many U.S. animal feed facilities were unable to export to Brazil because they were unable to obtain the required good manufacturing practices (GMP) certificate needed in order to export to Brazil. The United States did not have a competent federal authority willing and able to issue these certificates. However, there were 12 states that had state departments of agriculture that were willing to issue GMP certificates, but only for facilities in their state. This meant that if a facility was not manufacturing in one of those 12 states, that facility could not export to Brazil. Through the efforts of the AFIA, the FDA resolved this issue in 2020 by modifying its certificate of free sale to include GMP language for circumstances such as exporting to Brazil. This development has opened a tremendous opportunity to promote U.S. feed additives and premixes in Brazil and compete more fairly in this important market. In the first year after the FDA made GMP certificates available, U.S. feed additive and premix exports to Brazil increased 19.8%

Competitive Position

Overall, the animal protein industries, demand for animal protein and demand for Brazilian protein exports are growing and the animal feed industry is increasing production and working to meet this demand. This is an incredible opportunity for U.S. feed products such as additives and premixes. Feed additives and premixes complement and enhance diets and give producers and manufactures options when pricing is tight and quality product is a requirement.

There are many opportunities for Brazil to further adopt new technologies through the use of U.S. feed additives as well as for the AFIA to demonstrate the superiority of U.S. feed additives and premixes in comparison to competitors. U.S. feed additives can assist animal producers address challenges the face in animal production. The AFIA has an opportunity to demonstrate how U.S. feed additives can enhance feed conversion and feed intake, mitigate animal diseases, maintain feed quality, improve feed and animal performance, support animal health, improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. The U.S. feed industry’s challenge is to differentiate its products from those of competitors and demonstrate the value to Brazilian feed manufacturers, animal producers and government.

Figure 1 - Feed Additive and Premix Exports to Brazil
Source: HS 230993 - Trade Data Monitor

Brazil imported a record $334.6 million worth of animal feed and pet food in 2022, a 3% growth in value from 2020. Imports have been steadily increasing over the past 10 years, indicating the animal production demands being put on the country. The majority of Brazil’s feed additive and premix imports fall under the tariff code 230990. The EU-27 is the largest trade partner in this category, followed by China, then the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany and France (Figure 1).

Not only is the EU-27 the largest exporter of these products to Brazil, its exports now represent 44.3% of what Brazil imports, up from 34.9% in 2016. China’s market share grown slightly since 2017, from 22.8% to 28.5% in 2022. Although, China’s market share in 2016 was up to 31%. The U.S. holds 11.5% of the market, but over the past decade has of course faced increased competition from the EU-27 and China.