Meat ranked second among the total of agribusiness products exported, with beef, including raw beef, processed and offal, being the main meat of the sector.
When compared to March 2017, the raw beef exports increased 19.9% (+US$ 79.79 million). The main contributions to this growth were the trade to China (+US$ 35.28 million), to Hong Kong (+US$ 39.81 million), to Egypt (+US$ 40.28 million), and to Chile (+US$ 24.09 million). These countries were the main destination of Brazilian raw beef in March 2018.
Chicken exports dropped 9.7% to US$580.6m due to an 8.2% decrease in the average price.
There was also a fall in sales of pork by 23.4%, due to both the contraction in the quantity shipped (-7.8%) and price (-16.9%).
Imports of agribusiness products fell by US$96.09m in March 2018 compared to March 2017, with fish being one of the main products purchased by Brazil: US$142.72m.
Chicken and pork decline
Brazilian chicken has caused some controversy in recent weeks after the Federal Police conducted an investigation into processor BRF, which was accused of covering up salmonella in chicken.
According to MAPA, four BRF industrial plants were under investigation and it was targeting laboratories that allegedly covered up the presence of salmonella in products from BRF.
JBS’ Brazilian business Seara reported a decline in pork exports in its latest trading update, which was affected by the temporary imposed by Russia on Brazilian pork, while there was also a fall in chicken due to the lower volumes of fresh poultry sold domestically and internationally.