Brazil’s Beef Exports to Middle East and Africa More than Triples

Brazilian cattle from Paraná state The World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE) decision of recognizing the state of Paraná – as well as nine other Brazilian states and the Federal District – as free of foot and mouth disease is cheering up farmers and slaughterhouses in that Brazilian southern state.

The president at the Union of the Meat and Derivatives Industry of the state of Paraná, Péricles Salazar, stated that the herd and the industrial structure of Paraná are capable of quickly resuming exports to the world.

The measure of the OIE, announced last May 26, could not have come at a better time. Exporters in Paraná are celebrating the expansion of sales, including those to the Arabs.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, shipments of beef (fresh, chilled and frozen) from the state to the Middle East and North Africa grew 354% in terms of revenues in the first fourth months this year, compared with the same period last year.

This occurred even before the international organization had attested to the quality of sanitation in Paraná.

Between January and April 2008, shipments to the Arab world totaled 841.2 tons, generating revenues of US$ 2.6 million. In the first four months of 2007, 398.4 tons were exported, equivalent to US$ 569,300.

Last year, the state exported 1,400 tons of beef to the League of Arab States, generating revenues of US$ 2.6 million. That is, in only four months, foreign sales have already generated as much in revenues as they had in the whole of 2007.

The secretary of Agriculture and Supply in the state of Paraná, Valter Bianchini, asserted that OIE's recognition is important, as the leading global markets make their purchases based on certification issued by the organization.

In addition to Paraná and the Federal District, other Brazilian states favored by OIE's decision were Bahia (NE), Espí­rito Santo (SE), Goiás (MW), Mato Grosso (MW), Minas Gerais (SE), Rio de Janeiro (SE), São Paulo (SE), Sergipe (NE) and Tocantins (N).

Bianchini believes that by the end of this year, the state may recover the export volume recorded in 2005, when it lost its status of area free of foot and mouth disease through vaccination.

In that year, the state shipped 38,300 tons of beef to foreign countries, generating revenues of US$ 82 million. "Due to the herd's genetics and the quality of beef from Paraná, we believe that we will be able to surpass the volume exported in 2005 as of next year."

The representative of the Agricultural Federation of the State of Paraná (Faep), Ronei Volpi, claimed that now farmers feel encouraged to invest in traceability and to register their farms with the Brazilian System for Beef and Buffalo Meat Identification and Certification of Origin (SISBOV). By doing so, they will be able to obtain certification for exporting to Europe.

To Bianchini, OIE's decision attests to the quality of agricultural and livestock sanitation service in the state, especially animal sanitation. "Paraná is proving its capacity in sanitation management, in keeping with the new world order," he asserted.

Omar Nasser works for the FIEP, Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná.

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