Brazil's meat producers increased output for world markets this year and will again boost production next year, even though they face continued challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's meat lobby ABPA said.
Chicken output likely grew by as much 4.2% to 13.8 million tons this year, projections released this week for the full year showed. Exports may total 4.23 million tons in 2020, a 0.5% projected rise. China and Saudi Arabia bought the bulk of Brazil's chicken exports, ABPA said.
Pork production could total 4.3 million tons, an 8% rise, ABPA data for 2020 showed. Pork exports may reach 1.03 million tons this year, a 37% projected rise and an all-time record, with China accounting for 50% of demand in the first 11 months of the year, ABPA said.
But although companies performed generally well during the crisis, challenges remain, ABPA President Ricardo Santin said. He cited higher grain costs that he blamed on speculation in the corn market amid tight supplies.
Santin also cited doubts about the extent to which the government's cash aid program, which helped low-income Brazilians to buy food during the initial months of the pandemic, would be extended.
Santin said Brazil was trusted as the world's largest chicken exporter and for next year, its production of chicken and also of pork will increase.
Brazil is poised to raise chicken output by up to 5.5% next year, to 14.5 million tons. Exports could grow by 3.6% to 4.35 million tons, ABPA said.
For pork, Brazil's production may grow by 3.5% to 4.4 million tons in 2021, while exports may reach 1.1 million tons next year, a 10% rise. China will likely continue importing large volumes even as it restores its internal meat suppliers.
Brazil also aims to open up new big markets, with talks at an advanced stage to export pork to Canada, Santin said.