Brazil’s Chicken Exports to Middle East Grow 73% at the Expense of US

Brazilian chicken for export The Middle East was the region of the world that bought the most chicken meat from Brazil in the first three months of this year. Brazilian industries in the segment exported 282,000 tons to Middle Eastern countries.

There was a 21% rise in the volume purchased by the region, compared with the first quarter of 2007, and a 73% expansion in revenues from exports, which totaled US$ 476 million.

According to the executive president of the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef), Francisco Turra, the main cause for the rise in sales to the Middle East was the loss of competitiveness of other producer countries. Such is the case, he claims, with the United States, where the prices of animal feed increased as a consequence of the use of corn for ethanol production.

"That space was filled in by Brazil. As time goes by, the Middle East is buying more and more from Brazil, and they recognize the quality of Brazilian chicken," says Turra.

According to the president at the Abef, the fact that revenues from sales to the region grew more than sales volumes is a consequence of the dollar's diminished strength against other currencies. According to Turra, the expansion in sales to the Middle East was greater than to most regions.

Africa also increased its purchases of Brazilian chicken meat in the first quarter of the year. A total of 63,000 tons were bought, growth of 10% in volume compared with the same period in 2007, and revenues of US$ 58 million, 30% more. Among other regions of the world, the only one that recorded a rise in purchases, volume and revenues greater than that of the Middle East was South America.

"South America grew a lot, but it is a small market, therefore it is difficult to make it grow further," states Turra. What should tend to happen, according to the president at the Abef, is for Asia and Eastern Europe to significantly increase their purchases throughout the year. The Middle East should also maintain its position as a growing market for national chicken.

The type of chicken that the Middle East most bought from Brazil between January and March was whole chicken: 206,000 tons. The type that recorded the highest growth rate, however, was cut chicken, with growth of 83.68% over the same months in 2007 and a volume of 71,000 tons.

Whole chicken sales to the Middle East grew 7.44% in terms of volume. The other type of chicken that the region bought from Brazil was the industrialized variety, which totaled 4,400 tons and growth of 81.38%.

In terms of revenues, there were increases of 49.42% in sales of whole chickens, at US$ 324 million, of 168% in sales of cut chickens, at US$ 142.6 million, and of 68.6% in exports of industrialized chickens, at US$ 8.9 million. The type of chicken that Africa mostly purchased from Brazil was cut chicken: 51,000 tons and revenues of US$ 41.6 million.

Overall Brazilian chicken exports grew 18% in the first quarter this year, totaling 881,000 tons. Revenues from sales increased 59% to reach US$ 1.5 billion. In the month of March alone, compared with the same month of last year, sales grew 3% in volume, totaling 313,000 tons, and revenues rose 36% to reach US$ 555 million.

Anba

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