Brazilian turkey meat exports increased by 5.9 percent to 132,900 tons in 2015, according to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA). Revenue from these exports, however, declined by 13.2 percent from 2014 to US$288.2 million.

For the month of December 2015, Brazil shipped 1 percent less turkey meat than the same period of 2014 – 10,600 tons – worth US$20.9 million, which is 23.3 percent less than 12 months previously.

“Turkey meat shipments returned to record highs in 2015,thanks in particular to the good performance recorded by the sector between the months of April and August last year,” commented Francisco Turra, chief executive of ABPA.

Top destination for Brazilian turkey meat last year was the European Union, which imported 57,100 tons of the product, 10 percent more than in 2014. Meanwhile, 49,400 tons was sent to Africa, around 6 percent less than the previous year. Other countries in the Americas imported15,100tons(down 38 per cent). Europe outside the European Union took 7,100 tons (+29 percent), the Middle East 3.7 tons(-16 percent) and Asia 313 tons (-25 per cent).

Most popular among the turkey products exported by Brazil are parts, which amounted to 83,400 tons, 5.2 percent more than in the previous year. Processed products increased 7.4 percent to 49,400 tons, and whole birds were down by 72 percent at 64 tons.

Costs of production in Brazil set to rise

ABPA has warned of likely future rises in the costs of production of poultry and pigs in Brazil in future.

According to Turra, the cause is rising prices of corn and soybeans in those regions where the poultry and pigs are concentrated despite plentiful supplies in the Midwest.

“The first harvest is insufficient to meet domestic demand, especially with the strong exports,” Turra explained. “As a result, the materials are in short supply, and the costs of transporting further supplies to the poultry- and-pig producing areas are prohibitive.”

Everything depends on the second crop, he said, adding a warning that the industry may have to take drastic action to support continued production.

“We would be forced to import corn from Paraguay and Argentina, where there is only a limited surplus.”

According to Turra, Brazil’s poultry and pig producers are already having to bear rising costs of labor,energy and fuel.