SAO PAULO -- Brazilian food processors are poised to boost pork and chicken exports in 2020 as Chinese demand for meat imports remains strong while the Asian country deals with severe disruptions in local meat production, an industry group said on Thursday.
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While an outbreak of African swine fever affects solely pork supplies in China and other Asian countries, a fall in production of that type of meat will drive demand for other products including chicken, said ABPA, which represents pork and poultry producers.
ABPA forecast Brazilian pork exports may grow by as much as 15 percent next year, to between 850,000 tonnes and 900,000 tonnes, and projected Brazilian chicken exports rising to as much as 4.5 million tonnes, a 7 percent rise from upper range of 2019 export projections of 4.2 million tonnes.
The deadly pig disease in China has reduced domestic pork production by an estimated 13 million tonnes in 2019, according to projections cited by ABPA.
The nation will need around five years to restore internal pork supplies after the outbreak of the disease, which is harmless to humans but fatal to the animals, ABPA executives said.
The projections underscore the lasting effects of the sanitary problem in China, which is the world’s largest producer of pork with annual output of about 54 million tonnes.
Between January and November, Brazil increased pork exports to China by 51 percent to 218,000 tonnes, according to ABPA data. Chicken exports to China rose by 28 percent to 513,000 tonnes over the period, it said.
(Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky)