Brazil's Quarterly Chicken Exports up Eight Per Cent

BRAZIL - Brazil's poultry sales to Egypt were 119 per cent higher in the first quarter than the same period of 2010, despite the political crisis in the country, while overall export volume was up almost eight per cent.
calendar icon 15 April 2011
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Brazilian poultry exports to Egypt grew 119 per cent in volume in the first quarter of the year when compared to the same period of 2010, despite the political crisis that erupted in the country early this year, reports ANBA. The Middle East remains the leading market for the Brazilian product, with US$673 million in imports. The information was supplied by the Brazilian Poultry Union (Ubabef) yesterday (14 April) during a press conference at the union's headquarters in São Paulo.

Ricardo Santin, the Ubabef Markets director, said: "Egypt is experiencing a political crisis but has not strayed too far from its regular import volume. Last year, they imported 120,000 tonnes [of poultry], and Egyptian imports are somewhat seasonal, one month they will import 11,000 [tonnes] and another, 7,000, and so on. Fortunately, we have not sensed any specific effects of the crisis in Egypt."

In terms of volume, Egypt imported 16,400 tonnes of poultry from Brazil in the January-March quarter this year. In the same period in 2010, imports were 7,480 tonnes.

Revenues have grown by an even higher rate, according to figures presented by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce: sales reached US$30.51 million in the first quarter of 2011, as against $11.02 million in the same period of 2010, representing growth of 177 per cent.

The Middle East has remained the top target for Brazilian poultry in the first quarter, having accounted for 39 per cent of purchases. Asia, the second leading target market, retained a 27 per cent share of total purchases, and Africa and the European Union purchased 12 per cent each. Poultry shipments to the region reached 361,800 tonnes, an increase of 13.8 per cent over the first quarter of 2010. Revenues increased by 36.2 per cent and reached $673 million.

Saudi Arabia was the top target country, with an import volume of 139.1 tonnes. The United Arab Emirates ranked fifth, with 60.5 tonnes, and Kuwait ranked sixth, having imported 53.6 tonnes.

"The global scenario for food imports is doing great. There is a good demand, especially from developing countries," said Ubabef president, Francisco Turra, at the event.

Mr Santin also pointed out specific actions taken to promote Brazilian poultry in the Arab countries.

He said: "We attend the Gulfood [a fair in Dubai] and we have been there this year. We have also promoted specific actions, such as a magazine on Brazilian poultry all written in Arabic, addressing the halal market. We are also working on a manual for halal egg production," said the director.

ANBA reports that foreign sales in the first quarter of this year totalled 973,000 tonnes, growth of 7.7 per cent over the same period last year. Revenues in the period were $1.98 billion, growth of 23.6 per cent. The figures include exports of meat from chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and other birds, as well as genetic material and eggs. If only chicken is taken into consideration, the volume shipped in the quarter was 933,000 tonnes, growth of 10.1 per cent over the same period in 2010. Regarding revenues, exports reached $1.86 billion, growth of 28.3 per cent.

The Middle East was also prominent in the purchase of ducks, geese and other birds. The region imported 87 tonnes in the first three months of the year, only behind Asia, which purchased 255 tonnes. The Emirates were responsible for the purchase of 34,300 tonnes of the birds.

The Ubabef president announced that expectations for chicken exports for 2011 are for growth of three to five per cent as against last year. However, he complained about the appreciation of the US dollar against the Brazilian real, which is stunting exports and sector competitiveness.

Mr Turra said: "It is a shame what the exchange policy is doing at an inappropriate hour, as there is great [worldwide] demand [for Brazilian chicken]."

Mr Santin added: "We hope the government has some specific actions, like maize price reductions, and that the dollar start stabilising at slightly higher levels. Or, in the sectors that are being greatly affected, like ours, where there is already a threat of unemployment, that the government provide some kind of tax break or exemption, to maintain the sector competitive on the global market."

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