Brazilian exports to the Arab countries generated a surprise for the second consecutive month. Revenues with sales to the region rose 24.5% between January and May this year when compared to the same period last year, from US$ 1.41 billion to US$ 1.76 billion.
“The increase in exports is already well above forecasts for the year,” stated Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) president Antonio Sarkis Jr.
At the beginning of 2005, the CCAB stipulated a growth target of between 12% and 13% for sales to the Arabs in the year.
May exports rose even more: 51.5% over the same month in the previous year. Brazil had revenues of US$ 424.4 million with sales to the Arabs in May this year and US$ 280 million in May last year.
In the last 12 months, trade grew 33.4% and reached US$ 4.38 billion. The CCAB president believes that if the export rhythm remains at the same level, export revenues may exceed the value registered in the last 12 months.
Sarkis recalled that the second half is traditionally more favourable to exports to the Arabs, due to the Ramadan, when consumption in the Arab countries rises.
The summit between Arabs and South Americans, which took place in Brazilian capital Brasília, in May, should also start being reflected in the Brazilian trade balance.
“There has already been an increase in the Brazilian visibility in the region due to the preparation of the summit,” stated the CCAB president.
The countries that purchased Brazilian products at the greatest volumes between January and May were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Algeria, in that order.
Except for the Emirates, the other four countries increased their purchases in the period. Saudi Arabia grew from purchases of US$ 274.5 million in the first five months of last year to US$ 392.8 million in the same months of this year. The increase was 43%.
Purchases by Egypt grew 7.5%, from US$ 254.1 million to US$ 272.7 million, those by Morocco, 41.5%, from US$ 140.5 million to US$ 198.9 million, and those by Algeria 48.2%, from US$ 107.6 million to US$ 159.5 million.
Imports by the United Arab Emirates dropped 4.2% in the period. However, the country is still the third largest importer from Brazil in the Arab world, having purchased US$ 234.9 million up to May.
If the figures for the month of May are compared to those from the same month in 2004, the export growth percentages for three of the five main buyers are even greater.
Morocco purchased 208.8% more in may this year than in May 2004, Algeria 95.2% and Saudi Arabia 48.2%. The largest buyer, in terms of financial volume, in the month, was also Saudi Arabia, with US$ 103.8 million.
Brazilian imports from the Arab countries also grew between January and May this year when compared to the same period last year: 20%, from US$ 1.31 billion to US$ 1.58 billion.
In the comparison between May this year to May last year, imports grew 59% and reached US$ 427.9 million. In the last twelve months, the growth was 49%.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency – www.anba.com.br