(Adds details about quotas)
SAO PAULO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government is negotiating an increase of chicken export quotas to Britain, Ricardo Santin, head of meat lobby ABPA, told a news conference on Wednesday.
Under the current quota system, Brazil, the world’s largest chicken exporter, can sell 26,800 tonnes of products like chicken nuggets and hamburgers to Britain in a year, as well as almost 41,000 tonnes of fresh chicken for processing in that destination market, according to Ricardo Santin, head of ABPA.
The ongoing talks aim at increasing the processed products quota by some 16,000 tonnes and the fresh quota by some 6,000 tonnes, ABPA officials said.
Santin said the local companies are ready to immediately boost supplies if talks succeed.
“At a moment when England faces a shortage of products, this is the best contribution Brazil can give,” Santin said.
The agriculture ministry did not immediately return a comment request.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Sept. 23 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked him for an emergency agreement to supply a food product Britain lacks. Bolsonaro did not name the product, but said he had passed Johnson’s request to his agriculture minister, Tereza Cristina Dias.
ABPA, which represents large meatpackers like BRF and JBS, said Brazil is also trying to start exporting pork products to Canada, adding an agreement to access that market is imminent.
Brazil’s overall chicken and pork production as well as exports are expected to grow this year and the next, even as the sector continues to face a steep rise in corn and soybean prices, which impact the cost of feed.
Brazil’s ABPA said the industry got some relief from a reduction of Brazil’s corn exports this year, and the removal of duties on corn imports.
Brazilian internal corn prices rose by 154% and soy prices increased by 133% between January 2019 and August 2021, ABPA said. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler and Marguerita Choy)
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