Beef Industry Still a Bright Spot for Brazilian Exporters

Brazilian slaughterhouse One of the Brazilian leaders in beef production, Minerva slaughterhouse, shipped 23.3% of its exports to the Middle East in the first quarter of this year and has perspectives of selling even more to the region in the coming months and years.

"It is a region with a positive prospect, as it houses emerging economies that tend to increase their consumption of bovine protein, not to mention the fact that they prefer Brazilian beef," says the company, in its results report for the first quarter of this year.

Despite the fact that percentage-wise, there was a reduction in sales to the Middle East, which answered to 23.6% of total exports last year, they have actually increased, as overall foreign sales have grown.

Minerva exported roughly the equivalent to US$ 98.8 million to the region in the beginning of this year, as against US$ 76.7 million during the same period of 2008, according to calculations based on the figures presented by the company.

The slaughterhouse increased its overall exports by 30.5%, in terms of gross revenues, in the first three months of this year, compared with the same period of 2008.

In its report, the company highlights its performance in the Middle East, where the Arab countries are located, as well as in North Africa, which houses other Arab nations, in order to explain its export results. Sales to Africa as a whole answered to 5.2% of company exports between January and March this year, as against 5.1% in the first quarter of 2008.

According to calculations based on data supplied by the slaughterhouse, Minerva posted approximately US$ 22 million in revenues from sales to Africa early this year, as against US$ 16 million up until March last year.

The slaughterhouse celebrated the resumption of exports. Minerva posted US$ 424.4 million in overall revenues from foreign sales in the first quarter of this year, as against US$ 325.2 million in the same months of 2008.

"In January and February, the international market felt the strong impact of the economic crisis. From March onwards, however, we were all able to witness a more promising market, both in terms of economic scenario and regarding bovine meat exports," stated the company in a communiqué.

The company is expecting a favorable scenario in coming months, as the food industry, according to Minerva, will remain among those least affected by the international crisis.

"The signs of a resumption of exports are quite strong," the company claims in its report. After the Middle East, the region that bought the most meat from Minerva in the first quarter was that of the Americas, with 21.3%, followed by Eurasia, with 19.9%, Europe, with 16.5%, Asia, with 11.1%, and then Africa.

Anba

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