Brazil's pork exports may reach 610,000 tonnes this year
Brazilian pork exports should reach between 600,000-610,000 tonnes in 2008 compared to 604,000 tonnes in 2007, said the president of Brazil's Pork Industry Association, or Abipecs, on Tuesday (September 9, 2008).
"We expect to grow a few percentage points in 2008 compared to 2007 by increasing new markets and improving animal health issues such as foot-and-mouth disease," Pedro de Camargo Neto, president of Abipecs told Dow Jones Newswires.
Camargo said Brazil is largely dependent on the Russian market, and hopes to diversify this year to new countries such as South Korea and Mexico.
Although Camargo expects exports to increase in 2008, Abipecs said pork export fell to 48,082 tonnes in August compared to 64,923 tonnes in August 2007.
"This decrease was due to an exceptionally strong month in August 2007 and is not characteristic," he said.
The value of pork exports, however, soared to US$148 million in August versus US$122 million in the same month a year ago, due to the higher average price of pork products.
Abipecs also said Brazil exported 374,875 tonnes of pork between January and August, down 4 percent compared to the same period in 2007. "This was slightly below our monthly target, but we should be able to improve in the coming months," he said.
Brazil's export market accounts for around 20 percent of the total pork produced in Brazil.
The domestic Brazilian market has seen growing demand for pork as Brazilian incomes rise, said Camargo.
He also said beef prices have increased even more strongly than pork, leading consumers to buy more pork.
The main importers of Brazilian pork are Russia, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Argentina and Singapore, said Abipecs.