June 7, 2019 / 1:21 PM / 3 months ago

Brazil May chicken exports to China rise close to 50% amid ASF outbreak

SAO PAULO, June 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian chicken exports to China grew by 49% in May compared to the same period last year as the Asian nation imported more meat to deal with an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) that has impacted domestic production.

Brazil, the world’s largest chicken exporter, shipped 381,100 tonnes last month to overseas customers, a 14.4% increase, according to a statement from meat industry group ABPA on Friday.

China represented almost 15% of shipments, the ABPA data showed, and was Brazil’s main chicken export destination last month.

By revenue, Brazilian chicken exporters benefited from higher prices, with sales growing by 27.3% to $658.9 million.

China’s additional demand for meat has benefited Brazilian meat exporters including JBS and BRF.

Exports to the United Arab Emirates, where BRF has a strong presence, grew by close to 50%, while exports to the European Union rose by 26%, ABPA data showed.

“The disruption in the market created by China is happening at a moment when other importers are increasing their purchases,” said ABPA Executive Director Ricardo Santin. (Reporting by Roberto Samora Editing by Bill Trott)

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