SAO PAULO, July 15 (Reuters) – Brazilian pork and chicken exports are projected to increase in 2020 as local meat producers continue to increase production during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet strong Chinese demand, according to data from the ABPA lobbying group released Wednesday .
Pork exports can grow as much as 33% to 1 million tons this year while chicken exports are ready to increase by 5% to 4,450 million tons, ABPA executives said at a press conference.
The entity has reaffirmed its June sales forecast of around 1 million tons of pork and chicken to China in 2020, up from 834,000 tons last year.
In the first half, China imported nearly 600,000 tons of meat from Brazil, because the port of the South American country was virtually uninterrupted during the COVID-19 health crisis, which facilitated export flows.
Brazil has 64 factories approved to sell chickens and pigs to China, but in the last few days four units in the state of Rio Grande do Sul were banned by China because of the COVID-19 outbreak among meat factory workers.
While ABPA member companies have assured Chinese buyers of COVID-19-free local products, meat cargos destined for Asian countries are not tested before delivery, ABPA executives said. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)