February 1, 2006


Brazil's chicken exports rise 15 percent on-year


Brazilian chicken exports rose to nearly 2.85 million tonnes in 2005, a 15 percent jump over the same period a year before, according to data released Tuesday by the Brazilian Chicken Exporters Association, or ABEF.


Export revenues leaped in this period to roughly US$3.51 billion, a 35 percent increase compared to 2004, due largely to a 16.4 percent increase in the average price of chicken exports.


Exports for December grew to about 245,650 tonnes, up 5.5 percent over the same month a year before, while revenue for the month vaulted to a record US$358.2 million, up 46.2 percent over December 2004.


The principal buyers of Brazilian chicken by volume in 2005 were countries in the Middle East which bought 848,570 tonnes of chicken, up 12 percent from a year ago, while revenues totaled US$955.2 million, up 39 percent from a year ago.


Asia was the top buyer by revenue, importing some 756,949 tonnes of Brazilian chicken in 2005, an increase of 20 percent from a year ago, with value up 34 percent.


The European Union, meanwhile, increased its purchases of Brazilian chicken by 25 percent to 387,000 tonnes in 2005, with revenues totaling some US$728.2 million, an increase of 35 percent from 2004.


Other key buyers included Russia, which bought 258,186 tonnes of chicken, an increase of 34 percent from a year ago, while sales receipts shot up to US$267.2 million, up 65 percent compared to 2004.


Although Russia banned chicken exports from the states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul in December, the ban has had little effect on trade so far, since the Russian winter doesn't allow for significant export volume.


South America also purchased more chicken from Brazil in 2005 at 114,861 tonnes, up 39.5 percent from 2004, while sales rose to $119.4 million, up 81 percent from a year ago.


For 2006, ABEF is forecasting a rise of 5 percent to 10 percent in exports, though the continuing climb of the Brazilian real against the dollar continues to cut into export revenue.


While exporters say that an ideal exchange rate is around BRL3 to the US dollar, the real on Tuesday closed at BRL2.22 against the US dollar.


Meanwhile, the continued spread of bird flu around the world - which has provoked a reduction in world chicken consumption - could have a negative effect on chicken prices and compromise the chain of chicken production in 2006, said ABEF in a press release. 



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