In February, the United Arab Emirates surpassed China as the main destination for Brazilian chicken products.
According to meat lobby, ABPA, the month of Ramadan, which takes place in April, is the primary sales driver, reports Reuters. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours but often break their fast with a large evening meal.
The UAE is one of 58 countries that buys Brazil’s halal chicken. In February 2022, the UAE increased chicken purchases by almost 90%, reaching 42,800 tonnes. China’s imports were just 500 tonnes less, at 42,300 tonnes.
“Islamic nations were the first destinations for Brazilian exports of chicken meat, in 1975,” said the head of ABPA, Ricardo Santin, adding that there are long-term growth prospects.
ABPA noted that halal chicken exports represented nearly half of Brazil’s overall chicken exports in 2021, reaching 1.915 million tonnes, generating almost US$3 billion in sales. Halal chicken exports rose 5.17% by volume in January and February, reaching 310,400 tonnes and raising revenue by 25% to almost US$510 million in that period.
In 2021, halal chicken sales to the UAE totalled 9% of all Brazilian chicken exports (389,400 tonnes), generating revenue of some US$692 million, according to ABPA.
Poultry remains a comparatively cheap source of animal protein in the UAE and total imports in 2021 were forecast at 415,000 mt and at 445,000 mt for 2022. As a result of lower poultry prices and a recovery in tourism, travel, and business from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, consumption is forecast to grow to 456,000 mt in 2022 from an estimated 441,000 mt in 2021.