Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries generated US$ 2.583 billion between January and September this year, an increase of 23.4% in comparison to the US$ 2.093 billion of the same period last year. The figures are from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The growth of sales to the Arabs was much greater than that registered in total of the Brazilian sector shipments, which totalled US$ 32.4 billion, or 8.8% more than in the first nine months of 2004.
"The figures shows that the Arab market still presents a great potential to be won, and Brazilian exporters are doing just that, even without such favorable conditions on the foreign scenery," stated the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr., referring to, for example, the strong appreciation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar. He recalled that the countries in the region import 90% of the food they consume.
The main destinations in the first nine months of this year were Saudi Arabia, which imported the equivalent to US$ 574.5 million, 25% more than in the same period last year, Egypt, whose sales purchased US$ 411.8 million, a growth of 42.7%, the United Arab Emirates, to where the shipments generated US$ 360.5 million, with a 1.58% drop, Algeria, with imports of US$ 241.9 million in agribusiness products, an increase of 31%, and Morocco, to where the exports generated US$ 218.5 million, or 38.6% more.
"Algeria, for example, has been gaining importance in recent years. In the past the country imported very little," stated Sarkis. The main products shipped to these five countries were cattle beef and chicken, sugar and soy complex products (oil, chaff and grain).
However, the countries that grew most as export destinations for Brazilian agribusiness were Sudan (237.8%), Djibouti (113.7%), Jordan (99%), the Comoros (87%) and Yemen (82.5%). Yemen is already in the sixth position among the main Arab buyers, with imports of US$ 143.7 million between January and September.
In the Month, 20% Growth
In September alone, sector exports to the region generated US$ 334.3 million, against US$ 277.7 million in the same period in 2004, an increase of 20.3%. Total agribusiness shipments were US$ 3.82 billion, presenting a small drop of 0.5% in comparison to the same month last year.
In Sarkis’ evaluation, the September performance reflects, among other facts, the stocking prior to Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which began on October 04.
The main destinations in the month were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. The markets that grew most, however, were Iraq, Sudan, Qatar, Djibouti and Bahrain.
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