Asia’s Need for Food Gives Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul a Boost

Bean plantation in Rio Grande do Sul The southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul saw its exports grow 22% in May compared to the same month last year, according to information from the Fiergs (Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul). The rising food demand, particularly from Asia, had a direct influence on the performance, according to the federation.

China ranked first among foreign destinations of products from the state, having answered to 16% of total exports. Grain and soy oil were the main products shipped.

"The expansion of worldwide food consumption, spearheaded by the emerging countries, has led us to obtain positive export results," stated the president at Fiergs, Paulo Tigre.

Despite the rise in foreign sales, the state regressed from the third to the fifth position in the national ranking of exporter states. The industrial sector answered to 78% of foreign sales from Rio Grande do Sul, having totaled US$ 1.3 billion. The foreign trade outlook for 2008 remains positive, and exports should reach US$ 18.9 billion.

Record Steel Sales

Sales in Brazil of laminated and long steel hit a record high in May. A total of 1.9 million tons were sold, representing growth of 13% in comparison with the same month in 2007. The figures were disclosed June 19 by the Brazilian Steel Institute (IBS).

According to the IBS, there was an expansion in purchases across all segments of the industry, especially in the automobile, civil construction and distribution sectors.

Production of raw steel in the country totaled 3 million tons in May, according to IBS, growth of 2.8% over the same month last year.

Exports of finished steel products, on the other hand, saw a 25.6% decrease in the month. According to the institute, this occurred because products were redirected to cater to the domestic demand.

In the field of semi-finished products, however, there was a 4.7% rise in foreign sales, as a result of expansion in installed capacity of the national industry.

Shoe Selling in Italy

Brazilian footwear manufacturers closed deals worth US$ 1.4 million during Expo Riva Schuh, a trade fair for the segment that ended June 17 in Riva Del Garda, Italy. Exhibiting companies from Brazil inked sales deals with importer companies based in 35 different countries during the four days of the fair.

According to projections by the Brazilian Association of Shoe Manufacturers (Abicalçados), contacts made at the fair should result in exports of US$ 39.6 million during the next 12 months. "We were surprised by the attendance from Eastern Europe and Asia," says Vivian Laube, marketing advisor for the Brazilian Footwear export program.

One of the Brazilian companies that exhibited at the fair was Werner. Leonardo Sauter, who represented the company at the fair, claims that was surprised with the quality of the sales deals closed.

"We closed sales to storeowners, which is rare, because customers usually come by just to check out the collection and request samples," he stated.

Companies attending the fair were Piccadilly, Via Uno, Bibi, Bottero, Dilly, Pampili, Stéphanie Classic, Dakota, Bettarello, Território Nacional, Cristófoli, Carrano, Werner, Klin, Grendene, Bical and Capelli Rossi.

Anba

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