The volume of Brazilian exports of chicken to the Middle East should break a new record this year. This is the expectation of the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef), which registered shipments of 984,000 tons of the product to the region last year.
"Business with the Middle East is very consistent. Our fidelity has been growing year by year in a more intense manner," stated the CEO at the organization, Francisco Turra.
From January to August, shipments of chicken to the Middle East totaled 756,000 tons, which represented growth of 17% over the same period in 2007. In terms of value, the growth was even greater, 66%, with revenues of US$ 1.4 billion.
"Saudi Arabia is the main buyer in the region. In the period, 251,000 tons have already been shipped and the perspective is for this volume to be greater than last year, which was 380,000 tons," said Turra.
The second country in the Middle East that most imported chicken from Brazil was the United Arab Emirates, with 148,000 tons, followed by Kuwait, with 112,160 tons, Jordan, with 42,470, Qatar, with 42,350, Iraq, 39,860 and Yemen and Oman, with 37,000 tons. "We consider the Middle Eastern market very important. It is a special region for us," added the CEO.
According to him, the importance of the region caused the Brazilian companies to prepare themselves to export to these countries, which require halal products, i.e., following Islamic religious norms. "Our attention with this market is more and more intense," he said.
According to Turra, permanent contact with the countries in the region and actions for promotion of the Brazilian product in the Arab countries helped in trade relations.
In February 2009, for example, the Abef, in partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), is going to take a trade mission to Gulfood, a fair in the food industry sector in Dubai, in the Emirates, to promote a workshop about Brazilian meats.
Turra also stated that the Middle East was the main destination for Brazilian chicken exports after the creation of the Abef, in 1976. "And the region is still of enormous importance for Brazilian exhibitors," he said.
Apart from that, the CEO at the organization said that the importance of Brazilian meat in the Arab countries is such that the Arab ambassadors in Brasília make a point of making contact with the organization.
"Each time ambassadors from the region are in São Paulo, they come and visit us. There is no other region in the world in which we have such intense relations with the ambassadors," he said.
From January to August, Brazilian foreign sales of chicken totaled US$ 4.8 billion, which represented growth of 56% over the same period last year. Shipments totaled 2.5 million tons, growth of 17% in comparison with the same period in 2007.