Brazil, Already World’s Top Chicken Exporter, Keeps Adding to Its Market Share

One foot on each important economic bloc. This is the growth strategy of meat packing company Macedo Koerich, from the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

“We bet on the diversification of destinations for our products,” stated the company marketing manager, Ana Cláudia Bovino.


This year the industry should export 21,500 tons of chicken to around 20 countries, among them Yemen. The volume exported represents half of the company’s total production.


The slaughterhouses exports began in 2000. The Spaniards were the first foreign buyers, having ordered 24 tons of chicken breast fillets. The Chinese followed: they bought chicken feet. In 2003 came the time to prospect Yemen.


This year sales to the Arab country were consolidated. “Exports total 300 tons per month,” stated Ana Cláudia. The chicken exported to Yemen follows the rules of halal slaughter. “We sell the whole bird, with or without giblets – broiler or griller,” she explained.


In 2004, Macedo sold 45% of production to the foreign market, or 17,000 tons. Foreign sales answered to 80% of company revenues. The domestic market absorbed 21,000 tons of chicken.


In Brazil, apart from the traditional cuts – drumsticks and upper drumsticks -, the company sells seasoned cuts. In this sector, this week, the company released products with low sodium content, with the seal of the Fund for Improvement and Research in Cardiology (Funcor).


According to Ana Cláudia, the new line answers to the needs of current consumers, who are concerned about more healthy eating habits. The product is also recommended for consumers who are hypertensive and diabetic, who cannot ingest excessive sodium chloride.


“The reduction of sodium in the products varies from 36% to 44% of the average found in seasoned cuts on the market. The calorie count is between 18% and 56% lower,” she explained.


Research for development of healthier seasoned chickens lasted one year. Initially, the products will be sold in the southern Brazilian states – Santa Catarina, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul.


“The foreign market has not yet been the subject of prospection for this line,” she said.


From Brazil to the World


Brazil is the largest world exporter of chicken. From January to December last year, Brazilian chicken exports total led 2.47 million tons, with an increase of 26% when compared to the same period in 2003.


Export revenues reached US$ 2.6 billion, answering to a growth of 44% in the same comparison. The country detains 42.8% of the world chicken market.


The Middle East was the main importer of the Brazilian product. In 2004, a total of 750,000 tons of meat were shipped to the region, 22% more than in 2003.


Foreign revenues, US$ 672.5 million, were 33% greater than last year. Saudi Arabia, the country that leads the ranking of importers of the Brazilian product, purchased 332,611 tons.


Brazilian production in 2004 total led 8.494 million tons, with the slaughter of 4.042 billion birds. The domestic market absorbed 71% (6.069 million tons), with a per capita consumption of 33.88 kg per inhabitant.


Anba – www.anba.com.br

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