Brazil Agribusiness Sales to Arabs Grow 30 Per Cent

BRAZIL - Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries generated more than US$ 6 billion in revenues last year, growth of 30 per cent compared with 2007.
calendar icon 27 January 2009
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The increase in sales was greater than the expansion in shipments by the industry as a whole, which was 23 per cent. The figures were supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“A market that was already important has become even more important," stated the director of the Department for International Promotion of Agribusiness at the ministry, Eduardo Sampaio Marques.

The leading destinations for Brazilian products in the region in 2008 were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Morocco. The main items shipped were chicken and beef, sugar, grain, especially maize and wheat, soy oil and coffee.

Saudi Arabia, which is traditionally the largest market, has increased its imports by 45 per cent, i.e., at a higher rate than average. Meat sales grew 40 per cent, driven mainly by the price increase. But revenues from sales of other products, such as soy chaff and maize, have increased even further.

Exports of maize to the country, for instance, grew 333 per cent. “[Brazilian] maize is a relatively new product to the international market. Brazil is only now becoming an exporter,” claimed Marques. “And the Middle Eastern region is becoming increasingly import as a destination for maize,” he finished off.

In the case of Egypt, there has been a significant increase in sales of sugar (83.7 per cent), chicken (590 per cent) and soy oil (174 per cent). The performance of sugar was influence by the increase in price and shipped volume, but in actuality there was a recovery in exports, which had decreased in 2007 in comparison with 2006.

Brazilian chicken, in turn, is a relatively recent good in the Egyptian market, given the fact that up until mid-2006 there were restrictions on imports so as to protect the local production. The opening of the market took place after cases of avian flu occurred at chicken farms in the country.

Shipments to Algeria were strongly influenced by soy oil, whose exports grew 300 per cent, beef, with growth of 56 per cent, grain (200 per cent) and green coffee (183 per cent).

In the case of the United Arab Emirates, although it remains in the third position, sales to the country decreased 5.72 per cent. To Morocco, an important supplier of fertilisers to Brazil, shipments grew 40 per cent.

Next on the list of buyers are Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Jordan. The value exported to the first country in the ranking, Saudi Arabia, was US$ 1.43 billion, and to the 10th in the list, US$ 192 million. Markets that grew above the average, besides the Saudi one, were Kuwait, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Libya and Djibouti.

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