SÁO PAULO – After declining in 2012 due to high feed costs, Brazil's chicken meat exports should increase in 2013 by approximately 3 percent, according to Ubabef, the country's poultry association. According to a Reuters report, Ubabef projects better demand from Asian and African countries and more emphasis on processed foods to increase the value of sales and to compensate for high grain prices during the past year.

More expensive processed chicken products added up to 5 percent of Brazil's total export volume in 2012. That amount could increase, however, if companies such as BRF Brasil Foods and Marfrig focus on processed products.

Brazil produces 39.7 percent of the world's chicken exports, followed by the United States’ 32.5 percent. In 2012, Brazil's chicken production decreased 3.17 percent from 2011 to 12.645 million tonnes, Ubabef reported, which was the first year output had fallen since 2000. Exports last year decreased 0.6 percent from 2011.

Mid-way through 2012 after drought slashed production in the US, which is the world's top producer of soy and corn, grain prices soared to record levels, which increased the cost of poultry feed.