Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab market added up to US$ 316.69 million in May, which represented an increase in 14.84% in relation to the same month last year, according to information from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture.
"The increase in sugar exports and retaking beef exports made agribusiness firm itself again," stated the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr.
Some Brazilian states registered points of foot and mouth disease last year, which hindered purchases, that are now restarting. According to Sarkis, the sector’s exports to the Arab market has kept an average above that of Brazilian agribusiness’ external sales in general, which during the month of May had an increase of 3.7% over the same month last year. The sector’s exports from Brazil added up to US$ 3.8 billion in the month.
The five main Arab countries buyers of Brazilian agriculture and livestock products last month were Egypt, with imports of US$ 79.16 million, 66% more than in the same period in 2005; Saudi Arabia, with US$ 72.24 million and an increase of 28.6%; Algeria with US$ 51.39 million and increase of 88%; Yemen, with US$ 26.76 million and an increase of 163.4% and the United Arab Emirates, with US$ 24.69 million, a reduction of 24% in relation to May last year.
The products most shipped to the Arab market were beef and poultry, sugar, milk and dairy products, soy chaff, live animals, tobacco; orange juice and forest products, like wood and paper. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria together imported more than US$ 112 million in sugar, US$ 105 million in meats; US$ 1.4 million in milk and dairy products.
The markets that grew the most as destinations in the region were Djibouti, which purchased US$ 252,700, an increase of 496.6% in relation to may last year; Comoro Islands, with imports of US$ 178,200, which represents 268.7% more; and Iraq, with 1.08 million, 207% more.
According to the secretary-general at the Arab Chamber, Michel Alaby, the increase in Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries could also have occurred due to the high oil prices, which increases income and consumption. "Many times the government subsidises imports, especially of foods," he said.
Another reason, according to Alaby, is restocking for Ramadan, Muslim religious period which is finalised with parties. The stocks are normally prepared five months before the religious period, which this year will be in September. Another reason is the July holidays, when there is an increase in the number of tourists in some Arab countries, like Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
In the year’s accumulated value, Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries added up to US$ 1.27 billion, which represented an increase in 7% in relation to the period from January to May last year, when shipments added up to US$ 1.89 billion.
Total agribusiness exports in the first five months of the year added up to US$ 17.1 billion, which represented an increase of 7% in relation to the same period last year. The value was a record for the periods from January to May.
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