Brazil steers clear of avian influenza, boosts chicken production

Bird flu first hit Brazil in May
calendar icon 20 December 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazil has raised chicken production even after the arrival of the highly contagious avian influenza virus, which was detected in national territory for the first time in May but has not contaminated commercial poultry farms, reported Reuters.

According to projections released on Tuesday by pork and poultry lobby ABPA, Brazil will produce up to 14.9 million tons of chicken meat through the end of this year and up to 15.35 million tons in 2024.

This represents an annual output increase of up to 2.6% for 2023 and up to 3.7% for 2024 in the world's top chicken supplier.

With this year's boost and demand from importers, Brazil is expected to hold a nearly 38% market share of the global chicken trade, up from around 36% in 2022, ABPA said.

ABPA President Ricardo Santin praised Brazil's ability to protect its commercial poultry farms after the avian influenza virus killed wild birds, sea mammals and backyard animals.

He cautioned, however, that farmers and companies will have to learn how to live with the disease, saying "the virus will be around all the time."

ABPA, which represents companies including BRF SA and JBS SA, also said local firms have been steadily increasing pork production.

Pork output in the world's fourth-biggest exporter will grow to up to 5.1 million tons in 2023 and to up to 5.15 million tons in 2024, ABPA said.

Brazilian chicken exports in 2023 will end at a record of up to 5.15 million tons, ABPA said, estimating the value of exports at between $9.5 billion and $10 billion this year. For 2024, Brazilian chicken exports will reach up to 5.3 million tons, as the world continues to demand Brazilian products.

Prospects are also positive for Brazilian pork exports, which are estimated at up to 1.22 million tons in 2023 and up to 1.3 million for next year. The value of pork exports will be around $2.8 billion in 2023, ABPA said.

According to ABPA, Brazil may surpass Canada to become the world's third-biggest pork exporter as sales from the North American nation drop.

Brazilian companies are also seeking to open new markets for pork, aiming to the United Kingdom and Malaysia, among others.

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