Poultry Sector Seeks Market in Africa

BRAZIL - The Brazilian poultry sector aims to increase its exports to Africa and among the target clients is Algeria, an Arab country in the north of the continent. Algeria buys processed chicken from Brazil, but is now also interested in importing raw chicken. This information was disclosed by Brazilian Poultry Union (Ubabef) board members, who promoted a press conference on Tuesday, 15 January, in São Paulo.
calendar icon 17 January 2013
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“We have been working on Algeria for a while [to open market] for Brazilian raw and processed chicken,” said Ricardo Santin, Market director at Ubabef. “They first started buying the processed product, and now there is demand [in the country]. Algeria wants to buy fresh meat from Brazil and Brazil wants to sell. We have been working on that for five years,” he said.

According to Francisco Turra, the organisation’s president, the African continent should receive special attention from the sector in 2013. Apart from Algeria, Nigeria is one of the targets of the industry in that region. According to Brazil-Arab News Agency, the other countries considered priority for Brazilian poultry are in Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia.

With regard to the 2012 exports, the Middle East presented a reduction of 1.2 per cent in the volume of chicken imported from Brazil, with 1.396 million tonnes shipped. In revenues, the reduction was 2.2 per cent, totalling US$ 2.624 billion. The region remained as one of the main destinations for exports of chicken.

Saudi Arabia was the country that topped the list of exporters of Brazilian chicken, with 629,000 tonnes shipped in 2012, representing 16 per cent of what Brazil shipped abroad. The United Arab Emirates are in the fifth place in the list, with 239,000 tonnes and 6.1 per cent participation. Egypt (8th), Kuwait (9th) and Iraq (10th) complete the list of Arab nations among the world’s ten main importers of chicken. Last year, 31 per cent of Brazilian chicken was turned to the foreign market.

In 2012, Brazil presented a general reduction in chicken export figures, down 0.6 per cent in volume (3.918 million tonnes) and reduction of 6.7 per cent in revenues (US$ 7.703 billion) in comparison with 2011.

“In general, Venezuela and Europe were mostly responsible for the lower exports. Sales to Venezuela dropped by 77,000 tonnes, and those to Europe, by 48,000,” said Mr Santin. According to him, Venezuela started importing more chicken from Argentina, while the European countries reduced purchases due to the economic crisis faced by the continent. Japan, which has restarted producing locally, also bought 70,000 tonnes less from Brazil.

Brazil’s poultry production also dropped last year. With 12.645 million tonnes, the country produced 3.17 per cent less than in 2011. “Ever since 2000, we had never seen reduction. It was an atypical year,” said Mr Turra. The explanation, according to the president at the Ubabef, is in the price increases in soy and maize, which represent the main costs for the sector, as they serve as food for the animals. For this year, said Mr Turra, lower prices may be expected for these inputs, but the drop should not be significant.

Ariel Mendes, the Production director at the organisation, stated that there has been growth for the better in Brazilian production. “Inclusion of agriculture in the Low Carbon Agriculture Programme, for example. It is poultry raising in air conditioned areas, which offers a better result. Modernisation of Brazilian poultry farming is important,” he said.

For 2013, Ubabef hopes for growth of 3 per cent for the sector, including production and exports. To boost sales abroad, the organisation hopes for sale of greater value added products.

“We want to sell processed products, nuggets, sausages, hamburgers and also cuts ready to be sold to consumers, shipped frozen. We are ready to customize what is often very expensive to do locally,” said Mr Santin.

To Mr Turra, adding value to the product should be an “obligation of Brazilian agribusiness”. “Here we celebrate commodity exports. We are behind in the area,” said the Ubabef president.

According to the market director at the organisation, Ubabef has started a study to evaluate the demands for poultry products abroad. The association has also promoted a study of the Brazilian Chicken brand, which represents the product on the foreign market, in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), for creation of a quality stamp with international certification for chicken exported from Brazil.

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