Exports of Brazilian animal protein showed a very positive balance in the first quarter of 2020. Fundamentally, the Market still faces a great dependence on China. Fortunately, the protein deficit in the Asian country is still a reality in 2020, leading to a very satisfactory pace of purchases. The removal of blockades in Wuhan is the biggest symptom of the return to normality in the Asian country. Pork production in the Asian country decreased by approximately 29% during the first quarter, still a consequence of the ASF. The highlight of the trade balance for the meat industry was the expansion of pork shipments. From January through March, Brazil exported around 204.69 thousand tons, against 154.25 thousand tons in the same period last year, an increase of approximately 33%. The dependence on the Chinese Market is striking, the Asian country occupies a market share of 48%.Hong Kong has a 19.4% share, and the autonomous territory usually transfers an important portion of its purchases. The numbers imported by China are emblematic, reaching 97.37 thousand tons, against nearly 33 thousand tons in the same
period last year, which represents an impressive growth of 189%.
For chicken, the result is also very encouraging. Once again the main highlight is China. In the first quarter, Brazil exported around 1 million tons, against 919 thousand tons in the same period last year, up 9.2%. China accounts for a 17% market share, with an imported volume of 167 thousand tons. In the same period last year, exports to the Asian country totaled 114 thousand tons, which represents a growth of 47%. Chicken exports are better distributed, with a relevant participation of Saudi Arabia and Japan to the Brazilian market.
Beef exports showed less significant growth. In the first quarter, around 602.6 thousand tons were shipped, against 589.5 thousand tons in the same period last year, an increase of approximately 2.2%. Beef imports from the Asian country occupy a slice of around 35%. It is important to highlight that the growth of the Asian country is again emblematic, since a large part of the relevant importers of Brazilian beef decreased their volume of purchases in the first quarter. China imported nearly 210,000
tons of Brazilian beef, an increase of roughly 92% over the same period last year. With all these problems for the meat industry in the domestic environment and the deepening of the economic recession in 2020, the trend is for Brazil to become increasingly dependent on the foreign market.