An injunction by Brazil’s animal protein association to prevent interference with its members’ vehicles by strikers has been extended to cover additional vital routes for exports of meat, particularly to Russia before its ports are closed by the arrival of winter.

Injunctions it obtained against blockades on federal highways by striking truck drivers in February this year still apply, according to by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), which represents the country’s chain of producers and exporters of poultry meat and pork. Both loaded and empty vehicles are covered by the ruling so there is no interruptions in supplies of meat to the country’s ports. In the last week, the injunctions have been extended to other important routes.

On average, Brazil exports approximately 15,000 tons of chicken worth US$24.8 million and 2,700 tons of pork with a value of US$5.5 million every day.

ABPA recently reported that Brazilian chicken meat exports in October were down by 11.2 percent from the same month last year at 329,500 tons. This was valued at 9.1 percent more than last year in the local currency (BRL2.022 billion) but 31 percent less in U.S. dollars at US$521.4 million. Bad weather and strikes were blamed for the falls.

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“Demand is there and the business is firm,” commented ABPA chief executive Francisco Turra. “However,internal problems during the month impacted the sector.One example was the closure of the port at Itajaí, the main point of exit for Brazilian chicken meat exports, due to heavy rains. Other ports were also affected. At the same time, we bore the effects of the strike over the federal agricultural tax, which persisted during the first half of the month.”

Despite these issues, poultry meat shipments remained above the levels of last year(January to October), with an overall increase of 3 percent from the same period of 2014. Shipments over the period amounted to 3.515 million tons. This represented an increase in value in local currency of 24.4 per cent at BRL19.320 billion. In dollar terms, there was a decrease of 11.6 percent at US$5.960 billion.

“Analysis of the month of October by market performance does not indicate a slowdown in a particular market but rather a proportional fall, confirming that internal problems are the cause of the downturn,” said Ricardo Santin, ABPA vice-president for the poultry sector. “However, we are still on course to achieve the growth forecastsfor this year.”

“The month of November will be crucial for the industry to recover losses from the first strike of truck drivers, in addition to the stoppage of the work of agricultural federal tax, which took place between September and October,” added Turra. “This month, major importers such as Russia, raise its imports for stockpiling to face the winter, when the activity of ports is suspended due to cold and ice. The strike has negative effects on the industry and, at this point, we fear that they may be even worse than those suffered earlier this year. We hope, therefore, for quick action by the government.”