Brazilian-Arab trade has become a two-way street. The Middle East was the region that grew most as a supplier to Brazil this year. According to figures supplied this week by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, sales by the countries in the bloc to the Brazilian market totaled US$ 5.87 billion from January to November, an increase of 106% over the same period last year.
In November alone, imports of products from the Middle East totaled US$ 429 million, growth of 43.5% over the same month last year. In total, Brazil imported the equivalent to US$ 13.14 billion last year, growth of 9.2% over November 2007.
The expansion of Brazilian imports from the world was boosted by products like ores, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, raw material for agriculture, non-food agricultural products, primary food products, accessories for transport equipment, capital goods and consumer goods.
In the accumulated result for the year, Brazilian imports totaled US$ 161.7 billion, growth of 47% over the first 11 months of last year. There was expressive growth in import of fuels and lubricants, capital goods, raw materials, intermediary products and consumer goods.
With regard to exports, the Middle East also had significant participation as a market. Sales from Brazil to the region totaled US$ 661 million in November, growth of 24.7% when compared to the same month in 2007. The main products shipped were sugar, ores, maize and ironworks products.
Between January and November, sales to the region totaled US$ 7.36 billion, growth of 23.3% over the same period in 2007. Total Brazilian imports reached US$ 184 billion in the accumulated result for the year, growth of 25.7%.
In the month of November alone, sales from Brazil totaled US$ 14.7 billion, 5% more than in the same month of 2007. The Foreign Trade Secretary at the Ministry, Welber Barral, commented that the deceleration of exports in November, when compared to the rest of the year, was furthered by the shutdown of Itajaí Port, in Santa Catarina, which was practically destroyed by the strong rains that hit the state in the month of November, by the lower oil prices, and by the reduction in foreign demand, mainly of iron ore.