The World Needs to Eat and Brazil Has the Food

Brazilian cattle at pasture The main consumers of cattle beef in years to come will be developing countries. While developed countries will be consuming a little over 100 million tons of cattle beef a year, by 2030, developing nations will be consuming over three times more or around 350 million tons.

These figures were supplied by the president of the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec), Marcus Viní­cius Pratini de Moraes, at a meeting promoted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Japan in Brazil, in São Paulo.

"We are selling more and more meat to less traditional markets," stated Pratini. The Arab nations are part of this list and have been increasing their purchases systematically. The Abiec president also presented at the meeting the Brazilian cattle beef export figures for February.

Raw cattle beef exports grew 84.43% in terms of value, to US$ 280.5 million, and 62% in terms of volume, to 115,300 tons. Sales of industrialized meat were US$ 55.5 million, presenting growth of 23.2% over the same month in 2006, with a volume of 16,100 tons and an increase of 20.7%.

Egypt was the second main importer of raw cattle beef and the sixth in terms of the industrialized product. "Our tendency is to continue expanding exports to the Arab countries," stated Pratini.

Algeria was the tenth greatest importer of raw cattle beef and Saudi Arabia the twelfth. In terms of industrialized meats, the Saudis were the thirteenth.

"Up to 2030 the consumption of meat in Europe, Japan and the United States is going to grow little, whereas it is going to grow strongly in emerging countries," stated the Abiec president.

Due to this demand in emerging markets, Brazilian slaughterhouses are trying to open markets in the region. In the Emirates, for example, Abiec participated in February in fair Gulf Food, in Dubai, and promoted a barbecue for local authorities and importers.

Pratini is strengthening, at the events in which he participates, the importance of Brazil as a global supplier of food. "The world needs to eat," stated the Abiec president. "We have land, technology, water and industrial capacity."

Below is the interview given by  Pratini:

Exports of cattle beef to the Arab countries grew 32% in terms of volume and 37% in terms of revenue last year when compared to the previous year. How much should they grow in 2007?

We do not make specific growth forecasts per country or region as we are always incorporating new markets. And we cannot say when this process of finding new markets is going to end. But we believe that this year, up to the end of the year, we will manage to increase exports, in physical terms, by around 10%, and in terms of prices, by at least another 10%. The Arabs will present growth equivalent to this 10%, probably even more.

In your last trip to Dubai, to the Gulf Food, what did you observe about the perception of Brazilian cattle beef in the country and region?

Brazilian cattle beef is present in all markets of the Gulf. In Dubai the product is present in all restaurants and hotels. There are even Brazilian cooks doing barbecues in Dubai. There are Brazilian chefs in two of the great hotels. And Brazilian barbecues are also spreading throughout that region. I believe that the current relations between Brazil and the Arab countries, mainly in the Gulf region, are very constructive, very positive. We have frequently been visited by them here. We have a program of absolute respect to halal slaughter principles, which are audited periodically. It is a good market.

Who is our main competitor regarding the supply of cattle beef to the Arab world? Is it Australia? And how does our price compare with our competitors'?

In reality, Australian cattle beef is much more expensive than Brazilian cattle beef as it is a product that comes from confined cattle. Therefore they only sell some cuts. The cuts are the more expensive ones, for roast beef and things like that. But in terms of volume, be it for industry, or for retail, like butcher's shops, Brazilian cattle beef predominates.

Tunisia and Syria were two countries that started importing Brazilian cattle beef last year, despite at small volumes. These two countries had not purchased cattle beef in the previous year. Is an effort being made to enter these markets?

What is happening is that we promoted events in Lebanon and Egypt and there are always representatives there. We are even thinking of promoting something like that in Syria. There are very close relations between some countries and Brazil. There are families, relatives (in common). These people make the bridge, do the marketing. And our tendency is to continue expanding exports to the Arab countries as they also don't have great options. Nowadays Brazil is a meat supply alternative that exceeds any other country.

Do you know what kind of action will be developed in Syria?

We have started talking to Syria but have not yet managed to establish a formal agreement. But we are already discussing the possibility of promoting some activity there.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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