By Bernd Debusmann Jr
In October, BRF announced plans to invest $120 million in a chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia to bolster its presence in the Middle East
Brazilian chicken processor BRF SA will help Saudi Arabia achieve its goal of producing 60 percent of its chicken demand locally in the kingdom, according to company officials.
During a Friday conference call, BRF managers said that an October visit by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro to Saudi Arabia had helped officials there to increasingly see Brazil as a “a partner.”
In October, BRF announced plans to invest $120 million in a chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia to bolster its presence in the Middle East.
The company currently has four production facilities in the region, and currently serves the Saudi market through eight facilities in Brazil and a factory in Abu Dhabi.
The location, investment schedule and capital structure of the facility will be determined at a later date, the BRF statement said.
While the bulk of the new plant’s estimated output of 50,000 tonnes will be for earmarked for the Saudi market, but can also be sent to nearby countries.
The facility’s product portfolio is also expected to include bread, marinated products and burgers. It will begin operating by the end of 2021.
According to USDA statistics, Saudi chicken output is forecast at 730,000 tonnes in 2019, a figure that is expected to increase to 750,000 tonnes next year.
Saudi chicken consumption is estimated at 1.33 million tonnes and is forecast to reach 1.38 million tonnes next year.