Latin America's largest port, the port of Santos in southeastern Brazil, had a throughput of 38.4 million tons in the first half, growth of 3% over the same period of 2008. It was the second best result ever for the period, losing only to 2007, when the throughput was 38.8 million tons.
Considering the first semester performance of the port's operating company, Companhia Docas de Santos, the port is expected to end the year with a throughput of 81.4 million tons.
Exports in the first six months this year totaled 28.6 million tons, 18.6% more than in the first half of 2008. The highlights were agricultural cargo and products (sugar, coffee beans, corn, vegetable oils, citrus pellets, soybean) and liquid bulk oil derivatives (diesel oil, gas oil, gasoline and fuel oil).
Imports, in turn, decreased by 25.5%, despite the increase in imports of LPG, salt and wheat.
According to the management of the port complex, a new all-time high has been recorded in the number of ships docked in the first half of the year. Santos received 2,865 vessels, 1.3% more than the figure recorded in the same period last year (2,828 ships).
Santos tops the list of Brazilian ports in terms of share of the balance of trade, with 27% (US$ 34 billion) out of a national total of US$ 126 billion (1st half of 2009).
It is worth noting that with regard to the volume shipped through the Port of Santos, countries in the Far East were the destination for 5.1 million tons or 20.5% of total exports from the port.
The figures supplied by Companhia Docas de Santos reveal that shipments of coffee bean through the Santos port complex totaled 555,600 tons, growth of 35.1% over the same period of last year.
The volume of coffee shipments through the Port of Santos attests to its importance for the Brazilian coffee export sector: out of every four bags of coffee exported from Brazil, three leave from the Port of Santos.
In fact, Companhia Docas de Santos points out that statistics from the Brazilian Ministry of Development rank Santos as the leading gateway for exports of coffee beans, with 72.3% of total shipments, followed by Vitória (14.62%) and Itaguaí (6.4%).
A survey conducted by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the world's foremost organization in the sector, reveals that Brazil ranks 7th among the countries that host the most international events worldwide. There were 254 international events in the country in 2008 that met the criteria of the association, consolidating Brazil among the elite of the world's ten leading event-hosting countries.
For the second time running, São Paulo is the leading international event-hosting city in the Americas, having risen from the 23rd to the 12th position in the global ranking. Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Florianópolis, Recife, Fortaleza and Campinas are the other Brazilian cities in the list of cities that hosted at least five international events in 2008.
Last year, Brazil promoted 254 international events that met the criteria set by the ICCA (traveling events that are regularly held and with minimum attendance of 50 participants). In 2007, there were 209 events.
The ICCA survey also points to a strong trend of decentralization, in Brazil, with regard to locations in which international events are held: in 2003, 22 Brazilian cities held events that met the criteria of the ICCA. In 2008, the figure rose to 42 different cities.
Preliminary data from a first-of-its-kind survey by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, commissioned by the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur), show that the direct economic impact of spending by foreign participants in just fourteen international events held in Brazil was US$ 14,949,558.00.
The survey shows that average spending by foreign tourists attending events in Brazil is US$ 314.70Â -Â much more than the average spending by business tourists in the country, which is US$ 165.14, and by leisure tourists (US$ 73.53).
Most of the spending, according to the survey, went to lodging (45.04%), food and beverages (13%), purchases and gifts (11.95%), transport (7.62%) and culture and leisure: US$ 1,118,039 (7.48%).