Occupying over 8.5 million square kilometers, Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world based on area, and the largest in Latin America. With approximately one third of Brazil’s land area used for agriculture, the country stands out in the cultivation of grains, particularly cereals, beans and oilseeds. Soybean production, which accounts for almost 40 percent of the national crop output value, amounted to almost 120 million metric tons in 2018, making Brazil the second largest soybean producer in the world, only after the United States. Brazilian corn production also ranks amongst the highest in the world.
Despite three consecutive years of decrease in production output, sugar cane remains one of the main crops produced in Brazil in terms of production value. In addition to its importance for sugar production, Brazilian sugar cane is also used as feedstock for ethanol fuel production. Given the sustained growth Brazil’s biofuels industry has experienced since the 2000s, sugarcane crops have become essential to the development of its renewables sector and a particularly strategic crop among the wide variety of agricultural commodities the country provides to the world.
Livestock is also one of the chief segments in Brazil’s agricultural sector. Recent data shows that the number of bovine heads in the country surpasses the human population. However, the largest livestock segment in Brazil is by far poultry, with an inventory of nearly 1.5 billion heads in 2018. Globally renowned for its meat-filled traditional dishes, it is no wonder that meat derivatives is the highest grossing sector in the country’s food industry. In the international landscape, Brazil ranks as the largest global exporter of both broiler and bovine meat .