Brazil Doubles Imports from Arab Countries While Exports Keep Flat

Brazilian cattle Exports from Brazil to Arab countries exceeded US$ 1.2 billion in August this year, up 0.76% from August 2013, according to figures supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. 

Among the top export products, sugar sales were up 12%, fresh beef sales were up 27%, dairy sales were up 182%, soy sales were up 909%, coffee sales were up 1.24% and vehicle sales were up 390%. Exports declined by 15% for poultry, 54% for frozen beef, 31% for livestock, 20.5% for maize and 19.5% for iron ore.

“In the case of dairy, [sales went up] automatically because Brazil has regained competitiveness,” said the Arab Chamber’s CEO Michel Alaby. Regarding the significant increase in soy sales to Saudi Arabia, he mentioned that the country imports the product to feed livestock and manufacture oil.

Regarding the leading Arab destinations for exports from Brazil, in August from August 2013, sales were up 43% to US$ 294.21 million to the United Arab Emirates; up 42% to US$ 293.96 million to Saudi Arabia, and up 6.7% to US$ 83.35 million to Oman.

Conversely, exports were down 46% to US$ 159.28 million to Egypt and down 12.63% to US$ 85 million to Algeria.

Exports increased to Yemen, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan and the Comoro Islands; and declined to Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Iraq, Mauritania and Palestine.

In August, Brazilian exports to Arab countries increased for the third straight month, following a five-month downward run.

Year-to-date, exports from Brazil to Arab countries amounted to US$ 8.51 billion, down 3.47% from the same period of last year. Exports increased for frozen beef, by 2.2%, fresh beef, by 20.5%, soy, by 73.7%, dairy, by 181% and livestock, by 11.5%. Exports declined for poultry, by 20%, sugar, by 10%, iron ore, by 9%, maize, by 11%, and coffee, by 10.6%.

“There is still some residual impact from the negative results we had over the last few months,” said Alaby. He believes business may increase in September, because the Hajj, the great annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, will take place in early October, therefore Saudi Arabia must stockpile products to supply the massive number of visitors.

The executive believes it is hard to tell, however, how trade will behave toward the last few months of the year, because on the Brazilian side, presidential elections will be held next month, therefore the political and economic scenario is uncertain, and on the Arab side, key countries are plagued by instability.

Exports to the Emirates amounted to US$ 1.767 billion from January through August, up 13% from the same period in 2013; exports to Saudi Arabia reached US$ 1.684 billion, down 10%; exports to Egypt stood at US$ 1.345 billion, up 1%; exports to Algeria grossed US$ 807 million, up 14%; and exports to Oman fetched US$ 568.5 million, down 22.6%.

Imports

On the other hand, Brazil’s imports from Arab countries amounted to nearly US$ 1.1 billion, up 141.5% from August 2013. Naphtha imports were up 394% and crude oil imports were up 460%, while fertilizer imports were down 30%.

Algeria was the leading Arab exporter of products to Brazil in August, at US$ 332.5 million, up 152% from August 2013, followed by Saudi Arabia, at US$ 296 million, up 549%; Morocco, at US$ 158 million, up 10%; Iraq, at slightly over US$ 100 million, as against no exports in August 2013; and Oman, at US$ 88 million, as against only US$ 650,000 in August 2013.

Year-to-date, Brazil’s imports from Arab countries amounted to a combined US$ 7.5 billion, down 2.56% from the first eight months of 2013. The leading exporters to Brazil during the period were Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq and Kuwait, and the top export items were oil and oil products and fertilizers.

Dollar

On the day the Federal Reserve (Fed) – the United States’ Central Bank – has confirmed the easing of economic stimulus, the US dollar has closed above R$ 2.35 for the first time in six months. At the end of the trading day, the commercial dollar was selling for R$ 2.3576, the highest price since March 14th’s R$ 2.3516.

This Wednesday, September 17, alone, the price of US currency went up by almost R$ 0.03, a 1.24% increase. The dollar-to-real ratio is up 0.96% week-to-date and 5.3% month-to-date.

Despite being bullish most of the day, the dollar skyrocketed following the release of the Fed’s meeting statement. In it, 14 of the 16 members of the Federal Open Market Committee signaled that interest rates may go up as of early 2015 in the US at a faster pace than previously estimated in June.

Milk

Brazil’s milk production grew by 8.2% in Q2 this year from the same period last year. A total of 5.76 billion liters of milk were processed in this period, according to the Quarterly Survey of Animal Slaughter and Milk, Leather and Egg Production, released this Thursday (18th) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The volume, however, decreased by 6.6% in Q2 from Q1.

The survey also showed that 694.3 million dozens of eggs were produced in Q2 this year, up 2% from the same period last year and up 1% from Q1 this year. In Q2 from Q1 2014, both the Southeast and Northeast regions’ shares of the national output of eggs increased, while the other regions’ production declined.

Anba

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