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11/07/2017 - 18:04hs

Egypt is the highlight in poultry exports

Shipments of the Brazilian product to the Arab country increased 40% in the first six months. Sales to the Middle East dropped 10% in the same period. Overall, there was a 6.4% decline.

São Paulo – Poultry exports to Egypt were the higlight in the first six months of the year, increasing 40% in volume over the same period of last year, totaling 76,000 tons. The data was made available by the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) this Tuesday (11).

Among the main destination markets for Brazilian poultry, the North Africa country was the only Arab nation to register an increase. “Egypt is indeed the highlight in the region,” said Ricardo Santin, vice president and the association’s markets director. According to him, bird flu impacted Egypt’s production, with the country, all the while, going through an increase in consumption of poultry protein.

“Bird flu impacted also other nearby markets. This, combined with the favorable cost of the Brazilian product, helped improve our position in Egypt,” said Santin.

On the other hand, exports declined to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, three other Arab countries among the largest destinations for Brazilian poultry in the first six months of the year. Purchases by Saudi Arabia, the largest buyer of the Brazilian product, declined 16%, totaling 321,000 tons, against 380,000 tons shipped in the same period of 2016.

The United Arab Emirates bought 145,000 tons in the year’s first six months, 9% less in volume, which puts the country in the sixth position in the period’s ranking, behind South Africa. To Kuwait, Brazil shipped 61,000 tons of poultry, down 6% – the country is the ninth destination for Brazilian poultry, one position behind Egypt.

Overall, sales to the Middle East dropped 10% to 717,000 tons. The region, however, is still Brazil’s largest buyer of the product. “It’s a reflection of the situation of the local market. In Saudi Arabia stock levels were high and the country’s economic situation also contributed to the reduction in consumption,” explained ABPA’s vice president.

Forecasts revised

The impacts of Brazilian Federal Police probe Operação Carne fraca affected poultry exports numbers in the first six months: in volume, shipments totaled 2.121 million tons, 6.4% below over the same period in 2016.

“We need to recover what we lost in the first six months. Yet, we are not expecting a decline in exports,” said Francisco Turra, ABPA’s president, with the association presenting its forecast that signals a 1% growth in poultry shipments until the end of 2017 – below the one announced at the end of last year, when the association was expecting an increase ranging from 3% to 5% in the sector’s foreign sales.

The association considers that Operação Carne Fraca is already water under the bridge. Few countries are still holding out imports of Brazilian meat. According to ABPA studies, they account for only 0.42% of the total volume of exports by the sector.

Carne Fraca was an operation conducted by Brazilian Federal Police launched in March to investigate suspicions of irregularities in meat-processing plants and the work done by inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Vice-president Santin considers relevant the fact that Brazil hasn’t lost market share in the poultry global market, maintaining the top position. According to him, the decline in exports volume was rather due to the decline in purchases by the clients than the substitution for other source countries. “There wasn’t a search for competing markets,” said Santin.

According to Turra, one factor that is proof of the credibility of Brazilian poultry in global markets is the price. The companies didn’t not lowered prices even with the Federal Police probe. On the contrary: prices increased, following the decline in global supply due to several factors, among them the bird flu.

Revenues with shipments ended the first six months up 5.9%, totaling USD 3.585 billion.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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