Brazilian producers exported 150.6% more eggs during the first 2 months of 2021. According to the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), they shipped 3,177 tonnes in the first 2 months this year against 1,267 tonnes during January and February in 2020.
These numbers represent 60% of the total Brazilian egg exports last year, when exports closed at 5,300 tonnes. 2020 was the worst year since 2010. As a consequence of higher exports, the egg sector made US$ 4.128 million, reflecting a 152.8% increase compared to the US$ 1.633 million made in 2020. The United Arab Emirates were the main export destination with 2,356 tonnes, 209.7% higher than in the same period in 2020.
The United Arab Emirates were the main export destination with 2,356 tonnes, 209.7% higher than in the same period in 2020. Photo: Ton Kastermans
Sierra Leone was the second largest export destination with 103 tonnes, followed by Japan (89.2 tonnes, 103% more). “This strong recovery after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic comes just in time for Brazilian producers who are currently confronted with rising production costs,” says Ricardo Santin, president of ABPA. According to him, Brazilian egg producers are committed to growing in the international egg market. Brazil exported 7,600 tonnes in 2019.
ABPA forecasts the sector can export 8,000 tonnes of eggs, 50% more than during 2020. But, if the growth rate of the first months continues, egg producers could export 9,500 tonnes in total. The country’s total production reached 49 billion eggs last year and is expected to reach 53 billion in 2021.
Eggs against Covid
Eggs are crucial for the development of the Brazilian Covid-19 vaccine. The Butantan Institute is using eggs to multiply Newcastle virus and uses them for the “Butanvac” vaccine. After inactivation, this “poultry virus” is used by Brazilian researchers as a vector to transport the Sars-CoV´s S protein to the patient’s body. This protein is responsible for the connection between the virus and human cells.
Butantan’s director, Dimas Covas, says it is possible to end all vaccine tests in June and have 40 million doses ready before the end of the year. Another much more simple initiative involving eggs also aims to tackle the pandemic in Brazil. The company “Avine Alimentos”, in Ceará state, has decided to paint “#stayhome” (Fique em casa, in Portuguese) on each egg they produce. The example became “viral” on social media last week in Brazil.