Brazilian chicken shipments to Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2013 dropped 7.5 percent compared to the same period last year, totaling 901,200 tons between January and March 2013, figures released by the Brazilian Poultry Union (UBABEF) said.
Revenues also increased 9.2 percent during the same period, totaling $1.930 billion.
The survey showed that in March 2013, chicken meat exports totaled 319,700 tons, 12.1 percent lower compared to the same period last year, with 363 thousand tons. In terms of revenue, there was a slight decrease (0.4 percent) compared to March 2012.
UBABEF CEO Francisco Turra said the March 2012 shipment was atypical because the result was exceptionally above average, where the figures stood at 326,000 tons.
Turra said Japan and Saudi Arabia were the most significant importers of Brazilian chicken meat during March 2012 to March 2013. The two countries kept good import volumes to ensure adequate local stock.
Among the countries with reduced imports of Brazilian chicken are Venezuela and South Africa. Sales to Venezuela declined due to political instability in the country while sales to South Africa dwindled because of anti-dumping issues between the country and Brazil.
Exports to China also dropped due to "documental" issues, UBABEF noted. Sales to the EU were down as a result of a quota regime set up by the bloc. A steady rise in imports has seen Saudi Arabia emerge as one of the world's biggest importers of chicken meat in recent years, providing an important outlet for suppliers from Brazil and France.
The next three years is likely to see a sharp fall in the country's import needs however, as domestic producers expand with the help of government subsidies and other support measures.
The Saudi Gazette