Growing egg exports no flash in the pan for Brazil

An increasingly strong first half for Brazilian egg exports has led to industry predictions of new highs.

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has overshadowed reports coming out of Brazil over recent months, but there is still plenty of good news from the country’s poultry sector. Take for, example, the stellar performance of Brazilian egg exports.

As a low-cost, disease-free producer, Brazil is well-positioned to satisfy global demand for eggs, and figures published in July suggest that new highs can be expected this year, even if exports may not reach the peaks of a decade ago.

Over the first six months of 2023, by volume, exports of shell and processed eggs rose by 150% to stand at 16,600 metric tons (MT). By value the figure was over 222% higher, at US$41.2 million. In June alone, volumes rose by over 901%, with an increase in value of over 608%, compared to June last year.

These are the best first half figures in over a decade, according the to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) and, thanks to the high average achieved over the second quarter – the best on record – new highs could be expected for 2023 as a whole.

Japan, which has seen a significant reduction in its layer flock due to avian influenza and a consequent shortage of eggs, has been the main destination for Brazilian exports. Between January and June, it bought 6,900 MT of eggs from Brazil, a 1,304% increase on the same period last year.

Next on the list was Taiwan, buying 5,400 MT, after not having imported any last year.

Bigger and bigger

Brazil’s egg exports to Europe are low, but let’s turn to Europe, in particular, to Portugal, to gain an idea of just how many eggs Brazil is exporting.

Back in 2012, Portugal broke the record for cooking the world’s largest omelet. The monster omelet was cooked in a pan with a 10.3-meter diameter and contained 145,000 eggs along with large amounts of oil and butter. Once cooked it weighed 6.5 MT – more or less the same as an African bush elephant!

In the month of June alone, Brazil exported 469 MT of eggs, enough to cook 3,000 record breaking omelets -  if one forgets the oil and butter. That’s a lot of eggs and a lot of omelets!

For any consumers back in Brazil worried that they may not be able to purchase eggs as they are all disappearing overseas, ABPA has reassured that there will be no local shortage. Exports, it says, take less than 1% of the country’s local production.

The value of Brazilian egg exports has risen consistently since 2020, even the volumes shipped have been a little more erratic, but if you’re looking to set a new world record and need a plentiful supply of eggs, you know where to go.

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