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Middle East and Africa Maintain Chicken Export Level

by 5m Editor
16 July 2009, at 10:01a.m.

BRAZIL - The Middle East and Africa were responsible for maintaining the level of Brazilian chicken exports in the first half of the year.

According to information disclosed yesterday by the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef), shipments totalled 1.8 million tonnes in the first six months of the year, reduction of 1.9 per cent compared with the same period of last year.

According to the Abef, the two regions were the only ones to which sales grew. To the Middle East, which is the leading market for Brazilian chicken, shipments totalled 654,000 tonnes, growth of 17 per cent over the first half of last year. To the African continent, exports grew 28 per centand totalled 162,000 tonnes.

To other regions that Brazilian producers export to, such as Asia, the European Union, South America and Russia, there was reduction of volumes shipped in the first half this year.

According to information supplied by the Abef, one of the reasons for the expansion of sales to the Middle East, particularly last month, is the keeping of stock in the region for the month of Ramadan and the holiday season that follows the Muslim calendar month, which should go from 22 August to 19 September this year. During the Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day, but feast after sunset.

Just to give an idea, out of the 10 leading targets for Brazilian chicken in the first half, four were Arab countries. Saudi Arabia is the first on the list, the United Arab Emirates rank fifth, Kuwait ranks seventh and Iraq ranks ninth. There was growth in shipments to Saudi Arabia (33 per cent), Kuwait (18 per cent) and Iraq (135 per cent), and a reduction in sales to the Emirates (10 per cent).

The markets to which exports grew the most in the first six months of 2009 were Egypt (173 per cent), Iraq, Yemen (39.5 per cent) and Saudi Arabia.

In Africa, according to the Abef, the trend is of expansion of existing markets and the opening of new ones. "Africa is a fine market for us," said the executive chairman of the organization, Francisco Turra, according to its press office. South Africa ranked eighth among the leading destinations in the first half, and Angola was one of the markets that grew the most, with a 91 per centincrease in volume shipped.

According to an article published by ANBA on 22 June, with the international crisis, Brazilian exporters as a whole started seeking emerging markets even more. In the case of the Abef, entering new destinations is part of its commercial promotion strategy.

Revenues

With regard to revenues, Brazilian chicken exports generated US$ 2.7 billion in the first half, a 20 per centdecrease over the same period of last year. The performance was affected by the decrease in the product's international market pricing. Revenues only increased for shipments to Africa, which totalled US$ 155 million, growth of 24.7 per cent.

Francisco Turra stated, however, that the scenario should improve in the second half. He believes that by the end of the year, total volume shipped abroad should increase, even though revenues should still be lower than in 2008.