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SAO PAULO, July 29 (Reuters) - Brazil, home of the world's largest commercial cattle herd, will likely grow its stock by 2 percent this year from 2013, reaching a record 198.7 million head, according to a report sponsored by analysts Informa Economics FNP.
The increase is due to better management and more investment in maintaining pastures, according to the report, known as Anualpec. Slaughters are expected to increase more gradually, however, rising 0.9 percent at 43.3 million head.
Brazil's commercial cattle herd has grown continuously over the past decade, with only two declining years since 2005, the report said. Beef production in Brazil is forecast to rise 2.3 percent from 2013 to 8.5 million tonnes.
Beef exports from Brazil, the world's largest seller of the commodity, should reach 2.1 million tonnes, an increase of 17 percent but below the 2007 record of 2.2 million tonnes.
While the Brazilian cattle herd is the world's largest, commercially speaking, the U.S. produces more meat because Brazil's off-take rate, a measure of herd utilization, is lower. (Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; editing by Gunna Dickson)