Exports from Brazil to the Arab countries reached US$ 989 million in October, growth of 69.3% over the same period last year, when they reached US$ 584.4 million. Both cash cows of Brazilian exports to the Arab nations – meats and sugars -, which together represent 50% of Brazilian sales to the region, presented expressive growth.
The meat complex grew 54%, rising from US$ 168 million in October 2007, to US$ 259 million in October 2008. Sugars, in turn, leapt from US$ 105 million to US$ 231 million, in the same period, growth of 119%.
The list of products that grew most included non-traditional products in the trade basket to the region, like copper, oil and grain, with growth of over 300%. Copper rose from US$ 193,000 to US$ 15.8 million. Maize, which was not exported in 2007, this year generated US$ 29 million. Soy oil, which in October 2007 generated just US$ 3 million, leapt to US$ 52 million in October 2008, growth of over 1000%.
The main Arab destinations for Brazilian exports in the month of October were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Algeria. The latter presented growth of 80%, from US$ 36.5 million to US$ 67 million.
"The Arab countries are the part of the world where there is a large volume of surplus cash. In times of crisis, which the world is now facing, they have become even more important partners," stated Antonio Sarkis Jr, president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
"They are markets in which the exporter may trust. The result is that those who bet on it and had faith in it are now picking the fruit. In the month the crisis became stronger worldwide, Brazilian exports to the region grew almost 70% when compared to the same period last year. That is very significant," he said.
Brazilian imports from the Arab nations, in turn, grew 28% in October, when compared to the same month in 2007. The main suppliers were Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the Emirates. The latter is the highlight, which grew from US$ 4 million to almost US$ 100 million. Among the products, 76% is oil, followed by fertilizers.
In the accumulated result for the year, Brazilian exports to the Arab nations reached US$ 8.06 billion, growth of 38.4% over the same period last year. "This growth is much greater than the average growth of Brazilian exports to the world, which rose 28% in the period," pointed out Rodrigo Solano, the Market Development manager at the Arab Brazilian Chamber.
According to him, this growth was above the sales to important and traditional markets that are destinations for Brazilian exports, like Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and the United States.
Among the main Arab destinations are Saudi Arabia, with US$ 2.1 billion; Egypt, with US$ 1.10 million; the United Arab Emirates, with US$ 1.09 billion; Kuwait, with US$ 551.68 million; and Algeria, with US$ 485.12 million. Among the main products are meats and giblets, sugar, ores, cast iron, iron and steel, vehicles, tractors and parts.
Also in the accumulated result for the year, Brazilian imports originating in Arab countries presented growth of 90.68%. They rose from US$ 4.86 billion from January to October 2007 to US$ 9.28 billion in the same period in 2008.
All groups of Arab countries presented significant growth in their sales to Brazil from January to October 2008, when compared to the same period in 2007: the Gulf (+ 117.74%; US$ 4.25 billion), North Africa (+ 70.92%; US$ 4.93 billion) and the Levant (+ 237.21%; US$ 96.82 million).
In the evaluation of Sarkis, bilateral trade between Brazil and the 22 Arab nations are greatly optimistic and the tendency is for them to remain at the same growth levels up to the end of the year. "Bilateral trade between the regions should be between US$ 21 billion and US$ 22 billion," he estimates.