Agribusiness exports from Brazil to the Arabs generated US$ 6.86 billion last year, expansion of 14% over 2008, according to figures supplied by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. In the same comparison, total sector sales dropped 9.8%.
“This is emblematic, exports only rose to developing nations,” said the director of the International Agribusiness Promotion Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Eduardo Sampaio Marques.
He also pointed out the greater volume of shipments to Asia and Africa. “This is a sign that something had already been taking place in Brazil, the diversification of markets,” he added.
In a year of financial crisis, which affected international trade, there have been significant changes in participation of economic and geographic blocs as destinations for agricultural exports from the country. The Middle East, for example, climbed from the fourth to the third position among the main markets, and Asia took over the European Union’s position in the lead.
In a press conference last week, the president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Salim Taufic Schahin, pointed out that “Brazil is very competitive in agribusiness” and that there is still “great potential” for expansion of agricultural product exports to the Arab world.
In fact, from 2008 to 2009, the participation of the Arab market in Brazilian sector exports rose from 8.4% to 10.6%, according to calculations by the organization.
The main products shipped were poultry and beef, which generated revenues of US$ 2.71 billion in 2009. The growth was, however, boosted mainly by sugar exports, which generated US$ 2.57 billion, growth of almost 45% in comparison with the previous year.
There have also been expressive increases in sales of maize, soy, tobacco, industrialized meats, soy chaff, soluble coffee and fruit.
Despite the growth, Marques, from the Ministry of Agriculture, believes that there is space to expand shipments of several products to the Arabs, as is the case with beef, green and roasted coffee and fruit, like pineapple, bananas, limes, oranges and apples, orange juice, eggs, dairy and processed food in general.
With this objective in mind, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Arab Brazilian Chamber participated in the Gulfood, a fair in the food sector that takes place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, from February 21st to 24th. The stand organized by the two organizations should count on 12 exhibitors.