From January to May Brazil has exported US$ 2.06 billion in beef, representing growth of 10.4% over the same period last year. A total of 920,860 tons were shipped, decrease of 20.27% using the same basis for comparison. The figures were disclosed yesterday this Tuesday, June 10, by the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec).
According to Abiec's new president, Roberto Giannetti da Fonseca, who assumed the position a week ago, for the first time in the sector's history, revenues from beef exports surpassed US$ 2 billion in the period ranging from January to May.
"We have lost quantity, but gained value," he claimed.
According to the president, the main causes for the decrease in volume were the European embargo on Brazilian beef and the increase in the product's prices, which led to a reduction in demand.
"Our cattle supply has decreased, 15 kilograms of beef are now worth from 80 to 90 reais (approximately US$ 49 to US$ 55), whereas last year it was worth 55 reais (US$ 33)," he claimed.
Brazilian beef is already exported to 150 different countries, and the Abiec is working to open up new markets and diversify the product in emerging countries. "We are leaders in the global market," stated Giannetti. According to him, for every three kilograms of beef exported worldwide, one kilogram comes from Brazil.
The leading market for Brazilian raw beef from January to May was Russia, which imported 243,450 tons, resulting in revenues of US$ 570.62 million. Next comes Venezuela, with revenues of US$ 112.88 million and a volume of 47,750 tons.
Third in the ranking is Hong Kong, which imported US$ 100 million and 46,410 tons. The 15 leading importer countries of the Brazilian product also include Arab nations, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.
In May, foreign beef sales totaled US$ 478 million, representing growth of 7.7% in comparison with the same month last year. Shipments totalled 197,520, decrease of 25.75% using the same basis for comparison.
Da Fonseca, born in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in the Southeast of Brazil, assumed the presidency of Abiec, replacing the former minister of Agriculture, Marcus Vinícius Pratini de Moraes.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Economy from the University of São Paulo (USP) and was the Executive Secretary at the Chamber of Foreign Commerce (Camex), an organization linked to the Presidency of the Republic, from February 2000 until June 2002.
Currently, da Fonseca is the president of the companies Ethanol Trading, Silex Trading and Brex América, headquartered in Miami. He was elected president of the Foundation Center for Studies in Foreign Trade in 2003, and foreign relations director at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) in 2004.
Also attending the press conference at the Abiec head office, in São Paulo, was the new executive director of the organization, Luiz Carlos de Oliveira, who graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Federal University of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais.
His last activities were consultant for the government of the State of Minas Gerais; coordinator at the Technical Chamber for the Beef Cattle Breeding Sector, of the State Council for Agriculture (Cepa-Minas Gerais) and director of the Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Negotiation of the Secretariat for Foreign Relations in Agribusiness at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.