BRAZIL - In the first three months of 2015, Brazil exported 18 per cent less pork than in the same period last year.
This came despite it being one of the few major pork exporters which still had access to the Russian market.
While this access led to strong growth in shipments and much higher prices in the second half of 2014, by the turn of the year the situation had changed.
The economic problems in Russia, driven by the depreciating rouble and low oil prices, meant that its willingness to pay inflated prices diminished.
As a result, Brazil actually sent slightly less pork to Russia than in January-March 2014, while the price of these shipments was little changed in real terms (although still 50 per cent higher in rouble terms). Nevertheless, Russia remained the leading market for Brazilian pork during the three month period.
Brazil’s export troubles were not confined to Russia, with shipments to the rest of the world down by 27 per cent year on year.
Most other major markets took less Brazilian pork, some much less, partly due to increased competition from the EU, whose exports were, unusually, similarly priced to those from Brazil.
Despite this, with prices 12 per cent higher in real terms, the value of exports only declined by 8 per cent, to R$570 million.
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