May 16, 2012


Thailand may tap into chicken exports from Brazil


The cessation of EU's restrictions on Thailand's raw chicken exports could allow the Asian nation to tape into Brazil's exports and lower overall consumer prices, according to Rabobank.


Thailand's poultry industry saw its exports plunge by about 60% in 2003 when an outbreak of bird flu prompted European nations and Japan to launch restrictions on Thailand poultry. A strategic shift to cooked processed poultry - allowed under the bans - helped Thailand rebound to full export capacity of 500,000 tonnes by 2011.

Francisco Turra, president of Brazil's poultry processors and exporters association (Ubabef), told Meatingplace Monday that there's plenty of room for all producing countries in a growing global poultry market.


"Regarding Brazil's share, the loyalty of markets in Japan and the EU came after years of work, and the consequent increase in demand for our products has always corresponded to high standards of health and quality that were determined by those markets," Turra said. "Thanks to this solid and sustainable work, we believe this is a lasting relationship."


The Rabobank report estimates that if the EU and Japan both lift their bans, Thailand's raw chicken production could grow by 20% by 2015. The anticipated influx of 92,000 tonnes of raw chicken into Europe is expected to ramp up the pressure on Brazilian poultry exports and lead to lower prices. About 90% of Thailand's chicken exports go to Europe and Japan, according to Rabobank.

The report also suggests tactics to reducing risks to stave off the dramatic consequences of the 2003 bird flu outbreak. They include: continuing a focus on cooked meat exports; diversity the portfolio to include more Asian and Middle Eastern markets; and investing in production and distribution facilities in places like China and Europe, which competitors have already done.

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