May 19, 2016


Brazil's pork exports rise 47.2% in April, lower dependence on Eastern Europe



Pork exports originating from Brazil have amounted to 62,000 tonnes in April this year, a volume that revealed a 47.2% rise over the same period in 2015.


At US$110.5 million, April's shipments were 17.6% higher in value compared to April 2015, according to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA).


Francisco Turra, chief executive of ABPA, said the uptrend of exports had helped mitigate impacts from Brazil's troubled economy. "We are still in a critical situation, with high production costs and consumer downturn scenario. Brazil's investment in foreign trade has been critical to improving the outlook for the pig sector," Turra added.


Over in the Asia-Pacific, China is still one of the biggest importers of Brazilian pork, a recipient of 9,000 tonnes of the meat in April. This is a significant development considering that no shipments were made in April 2015. Chinese ports, in fact, only received 20 tonnes of Brazilian pork during January-April 2016.


Hong Kong also pushed its imports, with shipments amounting to 16,200 tonnes, a 63% increase.


Russia: More imports but lower share in Brazilian pork exports


As a key buyer of Brazilian pork, Russia has raised import volumes, with 19,800 tonnes of pork reaching the country in April 2016. The volume showed a 20% increase over the same period in 2015. Brazil was one of the very few suppliers of pork to the Federation at the start of 2016.


In the first quarter of this year, Russia brought in 39,000 tonnes of pork, a 42.5% increase compared to April last year, based on a report by the Russian Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (ICAR).


During January, 10,500 tonnes of pork were imported into Russia, compared to 3,500 tonnes in the same month last year. In February, 16,700 tonnes of pork reached the country, a bigger volume than 13,000 in the same period of 2015.


However, Russia's bigger purchases reflected contradictorily its falling share in Brazil's overall exports; in April 2015, Russia took up 45% which declined to 32% during the same period this year.   


"We have seen increased sales to other major destinations such as China, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, reducing dependence on exports of Eastern Europe," Ricardo Santin, vice president of ABPA markets, commented.


Additionally, Russia's increased imports could become a temporary trend, Eugene Gerden, a Russian agriculture analyst said. This is because Russia is witnessing a drop in consumption as well as the emergence of several new projects for pork productions.


"There is a real threat of pork oversupply in Russia, which could happen within the next two to three years," Gerden added. Although Russian prices for pork are above those of Brazil, these would "come under pressure" as the problem of oversupply grows. A drop in local prices and rising production activities in Russia will render imports a less attractive option, Gerden explained.

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