Exports of honey attained a new record high in the month of May, in Brazil, with foreign sales equivalent to US$ 4.15 million, the highest value in the last four years. The result represents growth of 14.6% over the value recorded in April. The sector is also celebrating the rising average cost of exported honey (US$ 2.46 per kilogram).
Also favorable is the balance of honey exports during the first five months this year, compared with the same period of 2007. From January to May, revenues from exports totaled US$ 14.01 million and 6.52 tons, growth of 57.6% in value and 14.4% in volume.
The United States market remains the leading destination for honey exports from Brazil. In May, the United States imported US$ 3.76 million in Brazilian honey, representing almost 91% of total revenues from foreign sales. In the first five months this year alone, Brazil already exported to the United States a total of US$ 12.43 million, equivalent to 5,790 tons of honey.
The figures were culled from a survey compiled by Agribusiness Unit consultants at the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and by the national coordinators at the Sustainable Integrated Beekeeping Hub (Rede Apis), Reginaldo Resende and Lázara de Fátima Borges. The source was the Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex) at the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
In the first five months of the year, the state of São Paulo remained the leader in the honey export ranking, with US$ 4.889 million. Next come the states of Paraná (US$ 2.417 million), Ceará (US$ 2.170 million), Rio Grande do Sul (US$ 2.167 million), Piauí (US$ 1.623 million), Rio Grande do Norte (US$ 365,200), Santa Catarina (US$ 241,300) and Minas Gerais (US$ 51,200).
In May, the three best prices were charged by the states of Ceará (US$ 2.79/kg), Piauí (US$ 2.52/kg) and Rio Grande do Sul (US$ 2.50/kg). The lowest prices were negotiated by the states of Rio Grande do Norte (US$ 1.98/kg), Paraná (US$ 2.37/kg) and São Paulo (US$ 2.35/kg).
Until the end of the year, honey exports tend to sustain the favorable performance recorded in the first months. "The optimism is due to the likelihood of an increase in Brazilian honey production this year, as well as the perspective of a shortage of honey in the international market, caused by a possible stagnation or reduction of the Argentine honey crop, and also by the relatively low inventory levels for honey in the leading importer countries," explains Reginaldo Resende.
However, the industry must stay alert, because of the strong dependence of Brazilian exports in the United States market. "Furthermore, the resumption of exports to the European market is happening slowly," says Resende.