The volume of Brazilian beef exported in the first two months of 2016 has increased by 18% on 2015 levels, according to Bord Bia.

The on-going devaluation of the Brazilian Real has been cited as the primary cause for this increase in exports, it says.

The increase in export volumes is already ahead of predictions made by Rabobank in late 2015, which suggested that beef exports from Brazil would increase by 6% in 2016.

Rabobank’s final beef quarterly for 2015 also indicated that total Brazilian beef production would rise by 4% in 2016 on 2015 levels.

Figures from the Brazilian Ministry for the Development, Industry and Foreign Trade show that Brazilian exports in the first two months of 2015 stood at 201,256t.

This means that the 18% increase in Brazilian beef exports is the same as about an additional 36,000t of beef available on the market.

In 2015, these official figures show that total exports of beef from Brazil stood at approximately 1.28m tonne, valued at approximately US$5.9 billion (€5.4 billion).

It also shows that the majority of beef exported from Brazil in 2015 was in the form of fresh salable product, as 78% of exports were in fresh beef form.

A further 11% of Brazilian beef exports were in the form of processed beef, it says.

Figures from Brazilian Beef, the organisation that promotes export sales of Brazilian beef show that Russia and Hong Kong were the South American states largest beef purchasers in 2015.

It shows that Russia accounted for 26% of total exports, while Hong Kong purchased about 18% of total Brazilian beef exports in 2015.

However, despite the high volumes of beef exported from Brazil, it says that exports only account for about 20% of total beef production, as 81% of the beef produced is consumed domestically.

It also says that the average Brazilian consumes 41kg of beef on an annual basis.