Arabs lose lead to Asia in poultry imports from Brazil

13-01-2021 | | |
Considering all products, whole chickens and cuts, around 33% goes to the Arab bloc. Photo: Mrsiraphol
Considering all products, whole chickens and cuts, around 33% goes to the Arab bloc. Photo: Mrsiraphol

The Arab bloc has lost its position as leading importers of Brazilian poultry to Asia. Brazil sees opportunities in Egypt and Morocco.

This decline was driven by Saudi Arabia’s local production strategy and the decrease in tourism in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and religious tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Brazil-Arab News Agency. According to Luís Rua, ABPA markets director, the Arabs remain the leading importer of whole chickens from Brazil, but year-to-date, “Asia has surpassed the region, accounting for approximately 40% of Brazilian poultry exports, and considering all products, whole chickens and cuts, around 33% goes to the Arab bloc.”

China remains largest importer

Year-to-date through November, Saudi Arabia purchased 418,800 tonnes of poultry from Brazil, down 2% year-on-year, and remains the second largest importer for the second year in a row, behind China, which remains first at 615,700 tonnes imported, up 20%. ABPA chairman Ricardo Santin noted that Saudi Arabia has purchased less from Brazil since because of a domestic decision to encourage local production, and that Brazil remains the world’s largest halal poultry producer. The UAE came in 4th in the ranking of largest importers of poultry from Brazil at 272,200 tonnes shipped year-to-date through November, down 14% from a year ago.

UAE remains leader in eggs

The UAE remains the leading importer of eggs from Brazil, accounting for 44% of the country’s exports. Year-to-date through November, it purchased 2,124 tonnes of eggs from Brazil, down 47% from a year ago. ABPA estimates a 5% growth in production and a 50% increase in egg exports for 2021.

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New markets – Morocco and Egypt

The opening of new markets in 2020 included Morocco, which opened up for poultry genetic material, and Egypt, which opened up for processed poultry products. ANBA reports that Rua said this was a major step in the trade relation with Egypt. “Egypt is one of our 15 top markets for unprocessed meat, and this is a possibility that opens up for us to export processed poultry products as well,” he said. In terms of Morocco, Rua noted: “In the case of poultry genetic material to Morocco, we provide genetics for them to develop their own poultry farming, so we expect to break into their unprocessed poultry market as well,” he said, adding that it would be “an interesting market to advance on.”

*These are the monthly figures.

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Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist