2012 has started with good news for the Brazilian pig industry, with the announcement of the opening of the U.S. market to imports of Brazilian pig meat.

In 2011, Hong Kong moved into first place among those markets that buy pig meat from Brazil, with Russia falling to second place. According to the Brazilian pig meat producers’ and exporters’ association, ABIPECS, from January to December 2011, Brazil exported 129,734 tons to Hong Kong, an increase of more than 30% in comparison with 2010. By value, sales reached US$323.78 million, an increase of 61.79%. Sales to Russia over the period fell to 126.449 tons, down by 45.96%. By value, the contraction stood at 40%.

Taking into account the Russian sanitary embargo in 2011, with the consequent reduction of sales of some 50%, Brazil closed 2011 with a result that was better than expected. There was a small decrease in exports of pig meat — 4.4% by volume — and an increase in value of 7%. In total, Brazil exported 516,419 tons of pig meat worth US$1.43 billion. Between January and December 2011, there was increase in average prices of approximately 12%.


Ranked by importance, the main customers for Brazilian pig meat are Hong Kong, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina and Angola.

The approval of Brazilian pig meat by the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service “ends a long process of approval for Brazilian exports," said the president of ABIPECS Pedro de Camargo Neto. "It is now up to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture to publish which processing plants have been officially recognized. We don’t expect to export a lot; however, this represents an indisputable seal of approval."