January 14, 2005



Brazil Supplies 43% of World's Chicken


Brazil's chicken exports saw dollar earnings rise 44.2% in 2004, finishing the year at US$ 2.595 billion. This was the result of the annual balance sheet released yesterday January 12 in São Paulo by the Brazilian Association of Chicken Producers and Exporters (Abef).


In 2003, exports came to US$1.799 billion. This improvement has upped Brazil's advantage on the international market, in which 43 percent of the chicken currently sold internationally comes from Brazil.


In terms of volume, Brazilian chicken exports were up 26 percent. 1.959 million tons were shipped in 2003; 2.469 million, in 2004. The higher rate of growth when it comes to earnings reflects the increase in average prices, which were 6.4 percent higher for whole chickens and 20.1 percent for chicken parts. The average price increase for exported chicken was 14.5 percent.


Asia became the key principal market for Brazilian exports, with a 29.9 percent share in terms of receipts, against 27.0% for the Middle East, which used to be the country's largest market.


According to Abef president, Julio Cardoso, the chief reason for this growth was the bird flu epidemic, which swept across most of Asia's major poultry producing countries in 2004.


Despite a 2 percent increase in earnings from sales to the European Union, that continent's share of Brazil's total exports was down from 26.9 percent in 2003 to 18.8 percent.


"Thailand [Asia's biggest producer] started to export processed chicken meat to the European Union, since the 'bird flu' prevented the exportation of unprocessed meat. This caused our exports to Europe to increase less," Cardoso explains.

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