It’s always good to start the new year on a positive, and this is certainly the case for Brazil’s poultry meat exporters. Industry body the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) has recently published the poultry sector’s export figures for 2022, revealing that another record-breaking year has been achieved.

It was not all good news on the export front for Brazil’s poultry meat exporters – exports to China, the industry’s main export market, were down again – but let’s take a look at the positives.

Over 2022, the country exported in excess of 4.82 million metric tons (MT) of poultry meat. This was an increase of 4.6%, and while below the 9% increase recorded the year before, it still an impressive figure. Where the value of all that chicken meat is concerned the figures are even stronger, rising by 27.4% to stand at a little over US$7.76 billion.

ABPA notes that three main factors have contributed to this historic performance, citing the conflict in Eastern Europe and an increase in European production costs, along with the widespread occurrence of avian influenza around the world. Brazil, it says is a “safe haven”, for the global supply of poultry meat, having never recorded a case of AI.

Around the world 

So where is all this poultry meat going? China, despite buying over 15% less Brazilian meat last year, remains the industry’s main export destination. While shipments to China may now have declined for two consecutive years, China still had an appetite for 540,500 MT last year.

The United Arab Emirates was the second most important client in 2022 and ABPA also points to The Philippines and the European Union as major destinations, while a growing taste for Brazilian chicken meat saw exports to South Korean rise by almost 63%.

Of course, 2022, was not all plain sailing for the Brazilian industry. Like its counterparts in other parts of the world, the industry was not immune to rising costs or consumers tightening their belts. It also had to cope with a number of political disturbances

Nevertheless, 2022 was a record year for Brazilian exporters, offering much to cheer about. Looking back to this time last year, the industry also reported that over the previous 12 months it had shipped the greatest volume in any single, with income rising by almost 26%.

Brazil has been the largest exporter of poultry meat for close to 20 years now. While this almost two-decade position has had its downs as well as its ups, I’ll give you three guesses as to what the sector might be this time next year!