The recovery of income due to exchange rates and increased levels of shipments favored forecasts of Brazilian chicken meat exports in 2014. According to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), in the month of August a slight reduction in volume of 0.4 percent was recorded, with 332,000 metric tons, but with a considerable increase in revenue of US$674.6 million, a figure 5.4 percent higher relative to the eighth month of 2013.

In the cumulative figure of the year, the pace of shipments of chicken meat was positive at 1.7 percent, with a total of 2,605 million metric tons. Meanwhile, the revenue performance declined by 4.6 percent, with US$5.163 billion between January and August 2014.

Chicken meat cuts were maintained as the main product from the list of exports between January and August. According to the ABPA, 1.423 million metric tons were shipped in the period, a 3.9 percent improvement when compared to the previous year. In whole chicken, the second product from the list, a drop of 2.2 percent with 954,000 metric tons shipped was registered. Salted meats, with 123,100 metric tons (up 5.7 percent) and processed products, with 104,300 metric tons (up 4.2 percent) complete the list.

Among the importing regions, the Middle East continues to be the largest destination for Brazilian chicken meat, with 911,400 metric tons shipped between January and August in 2014, which is a result 8.1 percent lower when compared to the same period of 2013. Asia, in the second position, showed an increase of 7.5 percent, with 777,700 metric tons. For Africa, established as the third-largest destination in volume, 328,800 metric tons (down 6.1 percent) were shipped. Ranking fourth, the European Union (EU) accounted for 276,300 metric tons of Brazilian chicken meat, a slightly higher figure compared to the previous year (up 0.4 percent). For the Americas, 245,300 metric tons were shipped, a 49.5 percent increase when compared to the previous year. Finally, European countries that are not part of the EU, 64,400 metric tons were exported, a 13.5 percent higher volume compared to the first eight months of 2013.

According to the CEO of the ABPA, Francisco Turra, the cumulative performance of the year was influenced by strong growth in large and medium size markets. "It was remarkable the performance of China, with a 20 percent increase in shipments after enabling five new plants, and Venezuela, which almost doubled purchases of Brazilian chicken meat. The medium-sized markets such as Vietnam, Angola and Mexico, were also highlighted in this context," he stressed.

To Russia, 38 thousand metric tons were shipped from January to August, 36.4 percent higher compared to shipments in the same period of 2013. However, such growth is not a direct result of authorizations for new plants by Russia in early August. "Compared with July and August, there was a 15.6 percent increase in exported volumes. These shipments would be even greater if the MAPA [Ministry of Agriculture] would certify several plants authorized to export, which is not yet the case," Turra said.

According to the poultry vice president of the ABPA, Ricardo Santin, the increase in demand of these medium and large markets should ensure the pace of the rise in 2014, despite the reductions seen in Middle Eastern markets. "If these increased levels of shipments are maintained, it is likely that for the second half our growth rate would be around 3 percent, according to what we are expecting," said Santin.

Saudi Arabia was the largest importer of poultry meat from Brazil between January and August 2014, with 433,600 metric tons (down 6 percent when compared to the same period last year). Seen as a "single market," the EU remained the second largest destination (276,300 metric tons, up 0.4 percent). Japan, ranked third, importing 269,400 metric tons (up 4.9 percent). In the fourth place, Hong Kong accounted for 211,200 metric tons of the general balance of the year (down 2.7 percent). In the fifth position, the United Arab Emirates totaled 170,200 metric tons shipped (down 1.1 percent).