Brazilian Producers Look to Open New Markets

BRAZIL - Local poultry producers are seeking new targets for their products including Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sudan, Mexico, the US and Senegal.
calendar icon 19 January 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Chicken exporters will favour the opening of new markets this year to make up for losses caused by the currency's appreciation, says Ricardo Santin, the Exporters Association's executive director.

The Arab-Brazil news agency (ANBA) reports that the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef) promises to work hard to open new markets this year, in order to partly make up for the losses incurred due to the appreciation of the real (the Brazilian currency) against the US dollar, which made the domestic product more expensive abroad, and due to the global demand retraction seen in 2009.

The organisation's executive director, Ricardo Santin, told ANBA that the markets selected are Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sudan, Mexico, the United States and Senegal.

He said: "We want to open up markets in order to have new sales options."

He added that the industry has resisted the international financial crisis well but is not doing a good job of exiting it due to the depreciation of the US dollar, which forces companies to bring down their margins.

Exporters also want the federal government to give the industry breaks from some taxes, so as to reduce production costs, and to put pressure on countries that impose barriers on Brazilian products that are considered 'illegal'.

In 2009, Brazilian chicken exports totalled 3.63 million tonnes, a figure very similar to the volume shipped in 2008. Revenues, however, dropped by 16.3 per cent and totalled US$5.8 billion, as against US$6.9 billion in the previous year.

There was growth in sales only to the Middle East, which is the leading market for Brazilian chicken exports, and to Africa. According to Mr Santin, it was these two markets – in particular, the Middle East – that prevented exports from dropping further in 2009.

Mr Santin asserted that there was no retraction of demand in the Middle East because there the GDP was less hit by the crisis than were other parts of the world. The executive added that local production in the region was unable to match the rising consumption, and that there was a vast supply of imported products at lower prices than in 2008.

Other factors, he said, vary from country to country, as is the case with Iraq, which strongly increased its chicken imports, non-existent until recently.

He also stated that Brazil is increasingly consolidating its markets in the region and perfecting the quality of its products. Halal slaughter, carried out according to Islamic tradition, for instance, is more and more widespread at Brazilian slaughterhouses, said Mr Santin.

In the case of Africa, Mr Santin told ANBA that certain markets retrieved their liquidity as a consequence of the oil price recovery, such as Angola, and others, such as South Africa, reduced their import tariffs.

Egypt, which until a short time ago did not import chicken from Brazil, increased its purchases by more than 100 per cent. In this case, however, the executive said that the performance is probably due to the government's policies to cull chickens because of the avian flu, and open up the market to imports.

Another factor that favours sales to Africa is the population's rising income. According to Mr Santin, the first thing people do when they have some money is to consume more animal protein, and chicken is the cheapest meat.

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