Brazilian Chicken Finds Growing Roost in China

CHINA - News that five Brazilian poultry plants have been awarded approval to export goods to China is a sign of a strong commitment to the bilateral trading relationship between the two countries, according to officials with the Brazilian Poultry Association (UBABEF).
calendar icon 24 March 2014
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Ricardo Santin, director of markets for the UBABEF, said the trade partnership between Brazil and China has really taken off in the last five years since the Chinese market was first opened to Brazilian chicken meat.

"The trade partnership in the poultry sector between Brazil and China has risen since 2009, and the annual exports have increased from 27,000 tons (2009) to 190,000 tons (2013)," Mr Santin said Thursday in an email to China Daily. "This shows the confidence of China in the Brazilian capacity of meeting its market requirements."

In addition to the 24 chicken plants that already have clearance from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Mr Santin added that "we expect nine others to be approved soon".

China is the sixth largest importer of Brazilian chicken, according to UBABEF data, accounting for 5 per cent (190,300 tons) of all Brazilian shipments in 2013.

Some of Brazil's largest food companies are involved in the recent developments, including BRF SA and JBS SA — the latter of which is the largest animal protein processor in the world.

Francisco Turra, executive president of the UBABEF, said the negotiations between purveyors of Brazilian chicken and Chinese agriculture authorities had been going on for months.

Due to "all the technical parameters", Mr Turra said getting these deals approved "was hard work".

"Animal protein is highly sought in the Chinese market, and our business partnership has great potential for expansion," Mr Turra said. "It is a key achievement for our industry, showing the high Brazilian competitive capacity, [which is] fully able to meet the demands of the international chicken market."

UBABEF, which is responsible for all the stages in the poultry production chain, was formed in April 2010 from the merger of two other associations — the Brazilian Poultry Association (UBA) and the Brazilian Chicken Producers and Exporters Associations (ABEF).

Mr Santin said a key component in Brazil's good track record regarding its chicken trade is its "excellent sanitary status".

The 2012 issue of Brazilian Poultry Magazine, a publication put out by the UBABEF with help from Apex-Brazil — the Brazilian trade and investment promotion agency — states that Brazil's place among the "world's leading chicken producers and exporters" is owed in part to the "enviable position of being the only country not to have recorded a single case of Avian Influenza".

Brazil is one of the most important partners for global food security, Mr Santin said, but "the economic development of China is influencing animal protein consumption."

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