In recent years, the profile of exports from Brazil to the Arab countries has been changing gradually, with greater participation of higher value-added products. According to a study by the Market Development manager at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rodrigo Solano, the "transport material" group, for example, which includes vehicles, aircraft and parts, had a 2% share of sales 10 years ago, and has now reached 6.2%, more than triple.
The study was based on figures supplied by Brazil's Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Ministry collected in 21 "sections" used for classification of international trade.
In the same period, the presence in the basket of machinery, equipment, electric and electronic equipment rose from 2.5% to 4.2%, and the highlights in this area are capital goods. "Products with greater added value have gained greater space, with gains of millions of dollars in nominal terms," said Solano.
In the section of transport material, exports rose from US$ 22.8 million in the interval from January to September 1999 to US$ 441 million in the same period this year, an increase of almost twenty times in nominal terms. The group climbed from the eighth to the fifth position over the last 10 years.
Another example is that of group "metals and metal products", which had a share of 4.87% in 1999 and this year reached 8.5%, with exports of US$ 601 million from January to September, almost 11 times more than 10 years ago.
At the same time, products in the industrialized food and beverage sector, which include mainly sugar, the second main item in the basket, second only to meats, dropped from 34% to 19%, although the shipment of these products alone in 2008 was greater than the whole of exports to the Arabs from January to September 1999.
A similar phenomenon took place in the area of vegetable oil, whose share dropped from 6% to 4.77%. This section includes another traditional product, coffee, but not products like vegetable oil and sugar.
The great exceptions among the basic products were meats. According to the study, the participation of these products of animal origin rose from 24.87% to 33.24%, with this section now figuring among the main ones in the basket, ahead of foods and industrialized beverages.
Another statement made by Solano is that nowadays the majority of the groups of products presented growth on the year on year comparison, whereas 10 years ago there was reduction in most sections. "From 1998 to 1999 there was reduction in 16 of the 21 existing sections, whereas from last year to date there was growth in 15, with four posting growth of over 100%," he said.
In total, Brazilian exports to the Arab countries generated over US$ 7 billion from January to September 2008, against US$ 1.3 billion in the same period in 1999, an increase of over 500%.
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