Apparently the problem is caused by the lack of animals. According to, Brazil slaughtered 7.1 million head of cattle in the first quarter of 2008, a 10% decline from the first quarter of 2007. Beef exports dropped 27.6 % in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago. However, higher prices more than offset lower export volume with beef export revenues increasing by 5.2% in the quarter.