According to Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade figures compiled by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, bilateral trade between Brazil and the Arab countries, the total of exports and imports, reached almost US$ 4 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 43.5% in comparison with the same period of 2007.
The value is the result of exports of US$ 1.765 billion and imports of US$ 2.169 billion, with respective growth of 17.07% and 75.76% in comparison with the first three months of last year. The trade balance surplus for the Arab world was US$ 404 million, against a US$ 273.5 million positive result for Brazil in the same period in 2007.
"Bilateral trade reaching almost US$ 4 billion in just three months shows the maturity of bilateral relations," stated the president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Antonio Sarkis Jr. "And there is equilibrium, at the moment there is a surplus for one side and then there is a surplus for the other," he added.
The countries of the Gulf were greatly responsible for the expansion of Brazilian exports. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Kuwait and Oman purchased US$ 1.034 billion, 47.7% less than in the first three months of last year.
Sarkis pointed out that the countries of the Gulf, especially the large producers of oil, are living a moment of great liquidity due to the appreciation of oil. Except for Iraq, they all significantly expanded imports from Brazil.
Saudi Arabia, the main market in the Arab world, purchased the equivalent to US$ 476.3 million in the first quarter, an increase of 65.4%, sales to Bahrain grew 202.7% and reached US$ 48.4 million, to Qatar the total shipped was US$ 61.1 million, 55.4% more.
The Emirates imported US$ 252.2 million in products, expansion of 20%, exports to Yemen generated US$ 55.7 million, an increase of 45.4%, sales to Kuwait totaled US$ 87.4 million, growth of 93% and Oman purchased the equivalent to US$ 29.8 million, 13.7% more.
Among the main destinations for Brazilian products in the Arab world, however, after Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, come Egypt, with purchases of US$ 208.1 million, Algeria, which imported the equivalent to US$ 126.5 million and Morocco, to where exports generated US$ 112.1 million in the first three months of the year.
The countries of the Gulf were also responsible for the largest part of growth of exports to Brazil. They supplied the equivalent to US$ 994.3 million in the first quarter, an increase of 117% in comparison with the same period in 2007, led by Saudi Arabia (US$ 707 million) and the Emirates (US$ 113 million).
There has also been expressive growth in imports from the countries of North Africa (51%) and of the Levant (60%). Algeria came in second place among the main Arab suppliers to Brazil, with sales of US$ 555.3 million, followed by Libya (US$ 358 million), Morocco (US$ 213 million) and Iraq (US$ 150 million).
High growth rates of exports from countries like Morocco (305.4%) and Tunisia (145%) show that, apart from oil and derivatives, Brazil is importing a much larger volume of fertilizers from the Arab world, as these countries are great producers of phosphates and other inputs.
Anba – www.anba.com.br