Products in the sugar and alcohol complex, meats, soy, coffee and tobacco. These were the products that occupied most space in the holds of vessels leaving Brazil towards the Arab nations in August. Among them, however, two presented significant expansion in sales when compared to 2006: soy and coffee.
In the list of five agribusiness products that presented the greatest exports to the League of Arab States in terms of revenues, the greatest growth was in coffee sales, which rose 54.4%, followed by soy, whose sales grew 41,38% over August last year.
"I believe that there has been greater aggressiveness by sellers and that the growth is also due to the missions that the agricultural sector is promoting to the region in search of new markets," explained the president of the Cereal, Fibre and Oleaginous Commission of the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), Macel Caixeta.
In the case of coffee, in August, Brazil exported to the Arabs a total of US$ 14 million, against US$ 9.3 million in the same month last year. In the case of products in the soy complex, total sales were US$ 20.8 million in August 2006 and US$ 29.5 million last month.
"Soy was one of the agribusiness products that grew most in sales to the Arabs. However, Brazil, as one of the main world producers, has potential to export more soy to the Arabs," stated Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Antônio Sarkis Jr.
This opinion is shared by Caixeta. "Brazil has great potential to supply the world. If there is interest of the Arab countries in increasing imports, Brazil may supply them," stated the president of the CNA Commission.
The soy that was exported in August was the stored product, as the country harvests between February and May. At this moment, for example, farmers are starting to plant the soy that will be harvested in the first half of next year.
Caixeta recalls that if the Arabs are interested in buying Brazilian soy in 2008, they must think in advance and close their contracts now. Brazil is the second main world producer of soy, and the country is also a large player on the foreign market as it is also one of the main exporters.
The Arab country that purchased the largest volume of Brazilian soy in August was Morocco, with purchases of US$ 23 million. The country purchased 1,270% more Brazilian soy in April this year than in April last year.
In the case of coffee, the main importer was Syria, with purchases of US$ 7 million and an increase of 42.2%. The greatest increase, however, was registered in Lebanon's imports, which leaped 2,650% to US$ 2.4 million.
"Syria is a traditional market for Brazilian coffee," stated the Arab Brazilian Chamber president. Caixeta recalls that Brazil has improved the quality of the coffee it produces and that sales to the Arabs may still rise significantly.
Agribusiness exports to the Arab countries as a whole presented a small reduction in April this year when compared to the same month in 2006. They dropped 3.84% to US$ 504 million. In August last year they were US$ 524 million.
One of the main causes for this reduction was the sugar and alcohol sector, which had significant sales to the Arab world, US$ 205 million, despite a 21.8% drop over the same period in 2006.
In terms of volume, however, the sugar and alcohol sector's exports rose. Exports of tobacco also dropped 45%, to US$ 4,5 million. The other product among the list of five main products, meat, presented stable sales in the comparison with August 2006.
If, however, the exports accumulated from January to August are taken into account, there has been growth of 15.88%, to US$ 3 billion. In the first eight months of last year, they were US$ 2.6 billion.
The products that sold most in the period were also the sugar and alcohol complex, meats, the soy complex and forestry products. The main buyers were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Morocco.
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