Egypt and Saudi Arabia were among the ten main buyers of Brazilian raw cattle beef last year. Algeria was in the 11th place in the ranking.
“The Arab market is the second largest importer from Brazil, losing only to Europe. But in terms of volume, the Arabs are already buying almost the same quantity as the Europeans,” stated the president of the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec), Pratini de Moraes.
So as to further consolidate sales to these markets in 2005, the Abiec is going to participate in missions and workshops in the region.
Apart from accompanying the Ministry of Foreign Relations in a diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, in February, the organization is going to promote a seminar in Algerian capital Algiers in April.
“Exports to the Arab market have risen very much and should continue growing,” he said.
According to Moraes, the largest part of the volume shipped to the Arab countries is meat from the front part of the animal, which is of lower value than that of the hind part, the main product exported to the European market.
At the end of last year, Algeria was the country that had the largest growth as a destination for Brazilian raw meat. In all, the Arab nation purchased US$ 61.43 million in 2004, a growth of 374.25% in comparison to 2003.
In terms of volume, the total shipped to Algeria was 56,820 tons, representing an increase of 353.4%. “Of the Arab countries, Algeria is the largest new market,” he completed.
Among the top ten countries in the ranking of Brazilian raw cattle beef buyers last year are Russia, the Netherlands, Chile, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Egypt is in 4th place and purchased US$ 162.85 million, representing an increase of 74%.
Saudi Arabia was in 10th place and imported US$ 72.86 million in raw cattle beef.
With regard to industrialized meat, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan are also part of the list of main importers.
From January to December 2004, Brazilian cattle beef exports generated US$ 2.52 billion, against US$ 1.55 billion in 2003, representing an increase of 62.35%.
In all, a total of 1.21 million tons of the product were shipped, against 848,000 tons from January to December 2003, a growth of 43.78%.
According to Moraes, Brazil opened 40 new markets in 2004, selling to 143 countries. The increase in customers on the foreign market helped the country maintain the lead in world exports of cattle beef, in terms of volume, for the second year running, despite being present in only 50% of the world market.
For the president of the Abiec, one of the differentials of Brazilian cattle beef is the fact that the product is natural. “Brazilian cattle is fed on grazing ground, and we offer a better product with competitive prices. We are the most efficient agricultural nation in the world,” he said.
The president of the Abiec did not want to make any estimate with regard to the export growth this year, but one of the objectives of the association is to increase business with Japan, the United States and the countries in the Mercosur.
Moraes believes that it is necessary to promote Brazilian cattle beef on the foreign market so as to increase the added value of exports.
For this year, the Abiec has already programmed participation in at least six events abroad. Two of them will be in the Arab countries.
The first is a diplomatic and business mission that the Brazilian government is organizing to take between 40 and 50 companies for business meetings in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in February. The other, scheduled for April, is a workshop in Algiers.
“The mission perspectives are good. We already have Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as large buyers of cattle beef and what we now want to do is establish a larger base with regard to nobler cuts of cattle beef and to work, always, on the added value,” stated Antonio Camardelli, the executive director of the Abiec, who will represent the organization on the tour.
He also added that the main objective of the mission is, apart from increasing exports to the Arab countries, to become closer to the buyer.
Camardelli stated that the workshop in Algiers will count on the presence of producers of Brazilian cattle beef and government representatives.
“The Arab market is already a large market, but we must keep contact,” stated Moraes.
Apart from regular visits to the Arab countries, the Abiec is going to participate in fairs in Portugal, China, Russia and Germany.
The events are going to have a Brazilian pavilion, where the Abiec is going to offer barbecues, fruit, and Brazilian coffee to the visitors.
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency