Through August of this year, Brazil exported more dairy products than it did in all of 2003. Dairy exports between January and August totaled 35 thousand tons (52.8% more than the 23 thousand tons exported during the same period last year) and generated US$ 49.5 million in revenues.
Dairy imports between January and August amounted to 36.5 thousand tons, 35.3% less than the 56.4 thousand tons imported over the corresponding months in 2003.
Imports in this sector demanded an outlay of US$ 54.3 million in the first eight months of 2004, 26.1% less than the US$ 73.6 million spent on imported dairy products during the same period last year.
Dairy exports brought in US$ 7.6 million in August, 57.9% more than the US$ 4.8 million earned in August, 2003. Export volume was 5.3 thousand tons, 18.9% more than the 4.5 thousand tons exported in August, 2003.
Powdered milk and condensed milk were the chief dairy products exported in August. Powdered milk was responsible for US$ 3.9 million in revenues, while condensed milk earned US$ 1.7 million.
During the first eight months of the year, exports of these two products totaled US$ 36.8 million, compared with the US$ 35.8 million they brought in all last year.
Based on these results, the President of the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture’s National Dairy Cattle Commission, Rodrigo Alvim, judges that Brazil is on its way to becoming a surplus country in the dairy products trade balance.
The cumulative deficit so far in 2004 is US$ 4.9 million. During the same period in 2003, the dairy products trade deficit amounted to US$ 49.5 million, and the deficit for the year as a whole was US$ 63.8 million.
The worst situation, however, occurred in 1998, when the country experienced a deficit of US$ 503.6 million in this sector.
According to Alvim, one of the obstacles to increasing Brazilian dairy exports is that production has reached its limit. “No one has inventory; everything that is produced is consumed here or exported,” he affirmed.
Brazil currently exports dairy products to almost 30 countries. Negotiations are underway with Mexico, which is the world’s biggest importer of milk and dairy products, spending an average of US$ 1 billion per year.
“If we get 10% of this market, that in itself is almost the totality of what we expect to export just this year,” Alvim remarked.
The Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture (CNA) was invited yesterday to join the Global Dairy Alliance, which represents the world’s largest producers of dairy products.
The invitation came from the ex-Prime Minister of New Zealand and ex-Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Mike Moore, who is in Brazil on a visit.
According to projections of the US Department of Agriculture, Brazil should be the fifth largest dairy producer in the world this year.
For the President of the CNA’s National Dairy Cattle Commission, Rodrigo Alvim, Moore’s visit attests to Brazil’s importance in the international milk and dairy products sector. Moore is currently Senior Counsellor to Fonterra, the biggest dairy cooperative in New Zealand.