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Brazilian Chicken Exports to Saudi Arabia Not at Risk

by 5m Editor
28 August 2009, at 9:46am

GLOBAL - The Brazilian ambassador to Riyadh has stated that that there is no danger of a halt to chicken exports from Brazil to Saudi Arabia.

The Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef) announced on 27 August that it has received a note from the Brazilian ambassador to Riyadh, Sérgio Luiz Canaes, informing that there is no danger of interruption in chicken exports from Brazil to Saudi Arabia.

The possibility was considered on Sunday, when newspaper Al Yaum, from the province of Dammam, published that local farmers had requested the Saudi government to retaliate against Brazilian farmers due to alleged dumping practices.

ANBA reports that, according to a press release by the Abef, the ambassador stated that the newspaper is not very important and that the article was probably prompted by "some farmer who was dissatisfied" over the reduction of tariffs on chicken imports from 20 per cent to five per cent. Saudi Arabia reduced the tariffs in order to comply with the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The association added that Ambassador Canaes informed that Saudi importers are satisfied with the Brazilian products, which are widely accepted among local consumers. "The reply that we had from Canaes shows that the Saudi authorities, importers and consumers trust the quality of the Brazilian chicken, and our product is an important element in the country’s food security," said the president of the Abef, Francisco Turra, according to the release issued by the organisation.

On 26 August, the executive director of the Abef, Ricardo Santin, told ANBA about the answers that the ambassador gave to the organisation. According to him, "Brazil sells to 150 different countries and has never been expelled from any of them". In the case of Saudi Arabia – which is the largest individual market for Brazilian chicken – the country would not be able to meet its domestic demand if it were to cease importing from Brazil.

Mr Canaes himself discussed the matter with ANBA on 24 August and he has since asserted that the embassy has not been notified of an eventual embargo by the Saudi government. He added that complaints from local farmers are recurrent but that the Saudi government has never imposed any hindrance on imports of Brazilian chicken for that reason.

According to the Abef's release, Mr Canaes also stated that the Saudi government intends to organize a technical mission to Brazil with the objective of regularizing the number of companies accredited to export to the Arab country. The ambassador told ANBA that for that reason, he has been in constant contact with the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture, and the possibility of embargo or anti-dumping action has never been mentioned.