Brazil Agribusiness Exports Explode: 27% Growth, US$ 74 Billion in Revenues

Brazilian soy Brazilian agribusiness exports should end the year with revenues of US$ 74.4 billion with the soy complex (grain, chaff and oil) as the cash cow.  This represents a growth of 27.4% over the US$ 58.4 billion that the sector productive chain sold to the world in 2007.

This should be the greatest export revenues ever received by the Brazilian agribusiness chain in its history, and should also generate a surplus of US$ 62 billion – also record, in the sector trade balance.

To foreign trade experts, the performance of the agribusiness trade balance from January to July this year is a clear sign of how exports and the surplus may still be higher than expected.

In the understanding of the economic analyst of the Union and Organization of Cooperatives of the State of Paraná (Ocepar), Cassiano Bragagelo, the agribusiness trade balance figures disclosed August 28 by Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply only strengthen the market forecasts for the performance of agribusiness foreign trade in 2008.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, from January to July, agribusiness exports totaled US$ 41.7 billion, growth of 30.2% over the same period last year. Imports, in turn, totaled US$ 6.7 billion, growth of 44.7% over the same period in 2007.

According to the Ocepar analyst, despite the growth of agribusiness imports, the sector trade balance in the first seven months of the year as against January and July last year totaled US$ 7.6 billion, rising from US$ 27.3 billion to US$ 34.9 billion.

Analyzing the agribusiness trade balance result for last month alone, the specialists noticed that foreign sales have grown 50.3%, resulting in revenues of US$ 7.9 billion.

Also in July, imports grew 55.2%, and Brazil imported US$ 1.1 billion. With this, last month the trade balance result, compared to the same period in 2007, registered two historic records in the recorded series, which began in 1989: in exports (US$ 7.9 billion) and in the trade balance surplus, US$ 6.8 billion.

"Up to the end of the year, all figures seem to show that agribusiness exports should continue heated, stimulated by prices, even if the volumes exported do not always follow the expansion of the sector," explained the technical advisor at the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), Matheus Zanella.


Cassiano Bragagelo agrees with the CNA advisor regarding future growth of exports and mentioned as examples the record sales of cooperatives from the state of Paraná. A study by the Technical and Economic Management Department at Ocepar shows that exports of cooperatives in the state had growth of 65% in sales in the first seven months of 2008, double the total registered by Brazilian cooperatives in the period (32.5%).

But Brazilian agribusiness exports have been growing throughout most of the Brazilian states, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. In July, for example, foreign sales of the state of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Bahia and Mato Grosso do Sul all grew over 100% when compared to exports in the same period in 2007.

Figures by the Ministry of Agriculture also show that, last month, the states that most sold on the foreign market were São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso. Of total Brazilian agribusiness exports in July, US$ 7.9 billion, the states were responsible for approximately 52%.

Agribusiness exports from the state of São Paulo grew 26.2% when compared to July 2007, reaching US$ 1.6 billion. Sugar, alcohol, orange juice, raw beef and paper were the main products shipped by the state of São Paulo. In the accumulated result from January to July, São Paulo sold to the foreign market the equivalent to US$ 8.6 billion.

In July, Paraná exported US$ 1.3 billion in agribusiness products. When compared to the same period in the previous year, the growth registered was 76.5%. Soy in grain, raw chicken, soy chaff, refined soy oil and soy oil in bulk were the products most sold. From January to July, Paraná exported US$ 6.5 billion, registering growth of 53.3% over the same period last year.

Rio Grande do Sul, in turn, sold US$ 1.2 billion in agribusiness products. From January to July, the value exported totaled US$ 6.3 billion. The main products exported were soy in grain, tobacco, raw chicken, leather shoes and raw pork.

The boom of foreign sales of Brazilian agribusiness products cannot be attributed only to higher international prices of commodities but also to the fact that the sector productive chain is placing on the foreign market products with greater added value.

The greater participation of Brazil in the foreign agribusiness market was also boosted by more products in the basket and a greater number of countries to which agribusiness is exported. "Today Brazilian agribusiness products are present in over 180 nations whereas in the 1980s they were sold to little over 50 countries," explained the Rural Economics Professor at the Federal University of Paraná, Eugênio Stefanello.



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