Brazil is the biggest exporter of beef and poultry in the world and a significant exporter of pigmeat as well. It has been among the cheapest beef producing countries in recent times and has access to most international markets. Of particular interest was its ability to get ahead of Ireland in securing access to China in June 2015. The US was reopened in the latter part of 2016, following closure for several years because of a foot-and-mouth disease incident.

China in particular has taken off for Brazilian beef exports. Prior to China opening, Russia was the main export destination outside South America for Brazilian beef, taking 321,000t in 2014 followed by Hong Kong on 260,000t and Egypt on 150,000t.