Exports from Rio Grande do Sul state industry, in the South of Brazil, grew 22% in the first quarter when compared to the same period in 2007. In total, foreign sales of industrial products from Rio Grande do Sul reached US$ 3.19 billion. The percentage of growth was above the national average, which reached 12% in the period.
According to the president at the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Fiergs), Paulo Tigre, the result reflects the strong global growth, especially in Argentina, which has been demanding machinery, equipment and food from Rio Grande do Sul.
The best performance in exports, from January to May, was in the food and beverage sector. Sales totaled US$ 927 million, an increase of 47% over the same period in 2007. The main products shipped were raw chicken and soy oil.
Producers of leather and shoes shipped US$ 487 million, followed by the chemical sector, which totaled US$ 414 million (plastic products and organic chemicals) in exports. The machinery and equipment industry exported US$ 357 million. Together, the four sectors answered to 62% of sales.
Imports of industrial products rose 71%, to US$ 3.16 billion. Purchases were focussed on chemical products (US$ 420 million), transportation material (US$ 381 million), oil refining (US$ 316 million) and machinery and equipment (US$ 228 million).
Global exports from Rio Grande do Sul, on the other hand, including industry and livestock, generated US$ 3.50 billion in the accumulated result for the year, an increase of 25%.
The state was the third main exporter in the country, only after São Paulo and Minas Gerais. This information was disclosed by the press department at Fiergs.