Agribusiness exports from Brazil to the Arab nations generated US$ 1.526 billion in the first quarter, growth of 25.1% over the first three months of last year, according to figures disclosed by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply. In the same period, total sector exports grew 15%.
The performance was greatly influenced by the sales of beef and sugar. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, shipments of meats totaled US$ 676 million, expansion of 33.5% over the first three months of 2009. Chicken contributed with US$ 486 million, growth of 42.6%, beef, with US$ 176.6 million, 17.8% more. The remaining volume is related to other meats.
Sugar exports to the region generated US$ 642.5 million, growth of 42.5% over the period from January to March 2009. There was great growth in sales revenues both of sugar in bulk and of refined sugar.
The analysis of figures shows that, in both cases, there was growth in the values paid for products. In sugar, the volume shipped even dropped a little, and in meats, there was greater growth in revenues than in volume.
“Global prices have risen and Brazil is surfing this wave,” said the director of the International Promotion Department at the Ministry, Eduardo Sampaio Marques.
He pointed out, however, that in the case of chicken, the volume shipped rose over 10%. To Marques, this is a considerable result, as the Middle East is already the main market for the Brazilian product. “Despite already being a mature market, it is still growing. This is the result of growth in consumption,” he said.
Also prominent are the greater exports of products like tobacco, coffee, paper and fruit.
The main destinations for Brazilian agribusiness in the Arab world were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco and Syria, all presenting expressive growth in their imports. Sales to Syria, for example, totaled US$ 105 million, growth of 126% over the first quarter in 2009, which resulted in the country rising to the fifth position among the main buyers, exceeding Algeria.
In March alone, exports to the region totaled US$ 613 million, growth of 19.5% over the same period last year, always according to the Agriculture Ministry.