July 17, 2020
Brazil pork and chicken exports surge thanks to demand from China
ABPA, a Brazilian lobby group representing pork and chicken suppliers said production and exports are set to increase, led by demand from China despite COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.
ABPA executives expect pork exports to go up 33% at up to 1 million tonnes in 2020, with a possible 5% increase in chicken exports to 4.450 million tonnes.
ABPA members have assured China purchasers that Brazilian products are free from COVID-19, even after operations at several plants were disrupted due to outbreaks of the virus. However, meat cargoes to China aren't tested before being shipped.
Ricardo Santin, ABPA executive director said meat does not transmit COVID-19.
Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council said poultry exporters in the United States aren't testing shipments prior to export to China as well. He said he is unaware if China is refusing shipments if there aren't assured to be free of COVID-19.
ABPA reiterated its June estimate of 1 million tonnes of pork and chicken meat from Brazil exported to China. Last year, Brazil exported 834,000 tonnes of both meat to China.
To reach this projection, pork output for this year in Brazil could rise by 6.5% to hit 4.250 million tonnes. Chicken production may increase 4% to 13.8 million tonnes.
In June, China imported about 600,000 tonnes of Brazilian pork and chicken.
64 Brazilian pork and chicken plants are approved for export to China, but four plants in the Rio Grande do Sul state have been suspended because of reported COVID-19 outbreaks among its workers. ABPA said the Brazilian government is discussing with Chinese authorities to reverse the bans.
ABPA said the meat industry has employed an additional 20,000 workers after the COVID-19 pandemic began to combat labour shortage and production disruptions.