Brazilian exports to the Arab countries have been growing every month. In March, shipments to the region generated US$ 479.8 million, almost 40% more than in March 2005. In February, the increase registered was 30% and in January, 22.3%.
"The growth target we established at the beginning of the year, 20%, was already being exceeded, and we have now reached 40%," stated the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr. "We are going to hope for a 50% increase in April," he added.
Once again the increase of shipments to the Arabs was greater than total Brazilian exports. In March, Brazil exported the equivalent to US$ 11.3 billion, a new monthly record, 22.8% more than in the same month in the previous year.
To Sarkis, stronger growth in exports in recent months shows the consolidation of Brazil as a supplier to the Arabs. "Even with the uncertainty regarding exchange rates, the Arab market is becoming more and more consolidated. And this is taking place in all sectors, not only in agribusiness, but also in industry," he said, referring to the appreciation of the Brazilian currency, the real, against the US dollar, which, in thesis, makes Brazilian products more expensive on the foreign market.
The main market in the month was Saudi Arabia, whose imports totaled US$ 125.7 million, an increase of 75% in comparison to March 2005. The trade balance with the country has been strongly influenced by the sale of Embraer jets to Saudi Arabian Airlines.
In second place comes Egypt, which purchased the equivalent to US$ 108.7 million in March, or 144% more than in the same month last year.
"Egypt has been purchasing large volumes of meats and sugar from Brazil," commented Sarkis. The third country in the list is the United Arab Emirates, with US$ 67.8 million in imports, then comes Yemen, with US$ 31.9 million and Algeria, with US$ 26.6 million.
Brazilian imports of Arab products also grew strongly last month. In all, Arab shipments to Brazil totaled US$ 563.9 million in March, 50% more than in the same period in 2005.
The main Brazilian suppliers in the month were Algeria (US$ 205.3 million), Saudi Arabia (US$ 166.9 million), Iraq (US$ 131.5 million), Bahrain (US$ 32.3 million) and Morocco (US$ 20.5 million).
Sarkis recalled that in the cases of Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, the main products sold to Brazil were in the oil sector. Regarding Morocco, the most important items in the trade basket were fertilizers.
In the accumulated result for the first quarter of the year, Brazilian exports to the Arabs generated US$ 1.264 billion, an increase of over 30% when compared to the same period last year.
Imports, in turn, generated US$ 1.228 billion, growth of 40% in comparison with the first three months of 2005. "This equilibrium is a good sign, showing that trade continues growing on both sides," finished off Sarkis.
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