The Middle East has been importing chicken from the Central Cooperative of Western Santa Catarina, Coopercentral Aurora, for over 15 years. The region is among the main destinations for the cooperative’s poultry exports.
According to Vincenzo Mastrogiacomo, the industrial director at Aurora, in 2004 Aurora sales to the Arab market accompanied the growth of Brazilian exports to the region, around 14%.
Up to the end of the year, the cooperative estimates an increase of 10% in terms of volume and 15% in terms of revenues from chicken exports to the Arab countries.
The main products exported to countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq are whole chicken with giblets (Broiller), whole chicken without giblets (Griller) and chicken cuts.
In 2004, Iraq, for example, was responsible for 13% of Aurora export revenues. "It is a market with great potential. The only demand is halal slaughter with a Muslim bleeder," explained Mastrogiacomo.
Coopercentral Aurora, established in April 1969, currently has 16 affiliated cooperatives. The group employs 8,000 people, has 41 distributors in Brazil and supplies to 45,000 customers.
Last year the cooperative processed 85.9 million birds, 2.25 million pigs and 48,500 tons of oranges.
The group has three units for pork industrialization, four for pork insemination, six cold storage units for pork, two cold storage units for poultry, three feed factories, one incubator, one grain storage unit, two poultry farms and four pork farms. They also have a concentrated juice unit.
Last year, Aurora had US$ 613 million in gross revenues. The domestic market answered to 75.87% of this result, with sales of approximately US$ 465 million.
Exports represented 24.13% of global revenues, totalling around US$ 148 million. Up to the end of 2005, the Aurora target is to increase sales to all continents and export 35% of production.
"The strategy for expansion of exports is already underway," guaranteed the director. In January this year, the Coopercentral established a partnership with company Midsummer Belgium, based in Brussels, Belgium, to be the company’s exclusive representative in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Apart from that, they managed to register the Aurora Products brand for the European continent, increasing company visibility on the foreign market. The forecast is for export of between 10,000 and 12,000 tons of beef per month to Europe.
Pork exports rose 38.04% in 2004 and reached US$ 84.3 million, although the volume reached 42,703 tons, 11.31% less than the total in the previous year. This picture reflected the lack of raw material in the period and its consequent price increase.
The most exported products were ham, shoulder, neck and belly, among others, (27,936 tons), pork heads (1,424 tons) and variety meats (4,343 tons). The main markets for pork were Russia, Hong Kong, Argentina and South Africa.
Chicken sales, in turn, registered growth of 22.67% in terms of revenues, totalling US$ 61.1 million and 9.38% in terms of volume, totalling shipping of 48,816 tons.
The most sold products were chicken carcasses with and without giblets (22,365 tons), frozen chicken parts (19,141 tons) and frozen giblets (7,310 tons). Among the main buyers are Europe, Russia, Japan, South Africa, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
Coopercentral Aurora has also expanded its participation in the domestic market. According to the Brazilian Pork Exporters Association (Abipecs), the company had 7.18% of the Brazilian pork market in 2004.
In the chicken sector, the company was among the seven largest, with 2.3% of the domestic slaughters, according to figures supplied by the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef). In the area of industrialized products, Aurora occupied the third position, with 8.3% participation.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency – www.anba.com.br