Brazil's Avian Flu Scenario: Economic Nightmare...

BRAZIL - As it advances around the globe, avian flu may well bring about a repeat, in economic terms, of the effects caused by wars.

Declining poultry consumption is already causing many sleepless nights for one of Brazil’s most important productive sectors. As the largest poultry exporter in the world, Brazil is beginning to feel the pinch caused by this global crisis through cancelled orders. Brazilian consumers are going to supermarkets and finding poultry in Arabic-language packaging, originally meant to be exported. Some companies are already reducing output and announcing layoffs.

These early and rather moderate consequences tend to become more serious, even though so far, not a single case of avian flu has been reported in Brazil. The country’s poultry sector depends heavily on global consumption, which accounts for almost half of overall sales by Brazilian producers. The possibilities of contagion in Brazil, however small, cannot be totally discarded, and while a number of measures designed to keep the situation under control have been introduced, there’s just no way of predicting how consumers will behave, in Brazil or elsewhere.

Brazilian poultry exports reached 213.7 metric tons in January of 2006, 14 percent more than total exports in the same month a year ago. Export revenues totaled US$280.7 million, 41.5 percent better than in January of 2005. Results for January of 2006 appear to be positive, until they’re compared with December of 2005. Data compiled by the Guedes & Pinheiro consultancy for a monthly survey prepared by ABEF, the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association, shows that January revenues were down 22 percent, and total tons shipped were down 13 percent if compared to data from the previous month. ABEF president Ricardo Gonçalves has become something of a spokesperson for the poultry sector in Brazil.

Source: Info Brazil
calendar icon 25 March 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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