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Brazilian Duck Meat Becomes Favourite in Middle East

by 5m Editor
21 September 2009, at 11:33a.m.

BRAZIL - Brazil has sold more than 50 per cent more duck meat to Arab countries this year.

Brazilian-Arab News Service reports that exports of duck meat to the Arab countries made a leap this year. Sales have gone from US$ 1.59 million from January to August last year to US$ 2.49 million in the same period this year, according to figures supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

There was growth of 56 per cent in revenues from sales to the region. In terms of volume, exports increased by a similar rate, of 55 per cent, having gone from 573.5 tonnes to 889.2 tonnes.

Company Villa Germânia, based in the city of Indaial, in the state of Santa Catarina, was responsible for the expansion of sales. The company's director and partner, Marcondes Aurélio Moser, explains that what contributed the most to the increase was entering the Saudi market, to which Villa Germânia did not supply up until last year. In addition to the Saudis, other Middle Eastern countries that purchased duck meat from Brazil from January to August were Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan and Oman. The leading buyer was the Emirates.

Mr Moser claims that Asians, most of whom work in the construction industry, account for most of duck meat consumption in the region. The product is also served at international hotels and restaurants. A small share goes to the general population.

He said: "It is an optional protein source." The businessman, however, believes that only 10 per cent of the duck meat exported to the Middle East is consumed by locals. He said that approximately 60 per cent goes to meals for Asians, and 30 per cent goes to hotels and restaurants.

The growing number of foreign workers, such as the Asians, in Arab countries, and the increasing number of hotels also explains the growth of exports from Vila Germânia to the Middle East. According to figures supplied by the Ministry of Development, last month there was significant growth to US$ 551,900 last month from US$ 150,600 in August last year. The growth rate was 266 per cent and the Saudi market accounted for most of it.

Villa Germânia, which is responsible for the entirety of the product's sales to the region, began seeking the Middle Eastern market in 2006, when its sales to Japan plummeted. At that time, Asia reduced its consumption of poultry due to avian flu. Thus, the company from Santa Catarina sought to sell to new targets. Ever since, there has been constant year-on-year growth in sales to the Middle Eastern market. From the beginning, Villa Germânia has adopted Halal slaughter, which follows Islamic rules.

The company slaughters roughly 8,000 birds per day, including ducks and chicken. In 2006, the total was 3,000 birds. Two-thirds of the output is exported, according to Moser. In addition to the Arab market, duck meat is also exported to Japan, Hong Kong and to islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as New Caledonia. The company works in partnership – or integration – with 40 poultry farmers.