African and the Middle East were responsible for maintaining the level of Brazilian chicken exports in the first half of the year. According to information disclosed July 14 by the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef), shipments totaled 1.8 million tons in the first six months of the year, reduction of 1.9% compared with the same period of last year.
According to the Abef, the two regions were the only ones to which sales grew. To the Middle East, which is the leading market for Brazilian chicken, shipments totaled 654,000 tons, growth of 17% over the first half of last year. To the African continent, exports grew 28% and totaled 162,000 tons.
To other regions that Brazilian producers export to, such as Asia, the European Union, South America and Russia, there was reduction of volumes shipped in the first half this year.
According to information supplied by the Abef, one of the reasons for the expansion of sales to the Middle East, particularly last month, is the keeping of stock in the region for the month of Ramadan and the holiday season that follows the Muslim calendar month, which should go from August 22 to September 19 this year. During the Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day, but feast after sunset.
Just to give an idea, out of the 10 leading targets for Brazilian chicken in the first half, four were Arab countries. Saudi Arabia is the first on the list, the United Arab Emirates rank fifth, Kuwait ranks seventh and Iraq ranks ninth. There was growth in shipments to Saudi Arabia (33%), Kuwait (18%) and Iraq (135%), and a reduction in sales to the Emirates (10%).
The markets to which exports grew the most in the first six months of 2009 were Egypt (173%), Iraq, Yemen (39.5%) and Saudi Arabia.
In Africa, according to the Abef, the trend is of expansion of existing markets and the opening of new ones. "Africa is a fine market for us," said the executive chairman of the organization, Francisco Turra, according to its press office. South Africa ranked eighth among the leading destinations in the first half, and Angola was one of the markets that grew the most, with a 91% increase in volume shipped.
With the international crisis, Brazilian exporters as a whole started seeking emerging markets even more. In the case of the Abef, entering new destinations is part of its commercial promotion strategy.
With regard to revenues, Brazilian chicken exports generated US$ 2.7 billion in the first half, a 20% decrease over the same period of last year. The performance was affected by the decrease in the product's international market pricing. Revenues only increased for shipments to Africa, which totaled US$ 155 million, growth of 24.7%.
Francisco Turra stated, however, that the scenario should improve in the second half. He believes that by the end of the year, total volume shipped abroad should increase, even though revenues should still be lower than in 2008.