Brazil’s Sweet Deals in the Middle East

Brazilian sugar exports to the Arab countries practically doubled between 2003 and 2004. Figures supplied by the São Paulo Sugar Cane Agroindustry Union (Unica) reveal that from January to October this year the country shipped 5,347,217 tons of the product to the region, against 2,921,043 in the same period last year.

This means an expansion of 83%, with Arab country participation in Brazilian sugar exports rising from 28.74% to 41.94%.


Revenues obtained by the sector with sales to the Middle East and North Africa had a similarly positive performance.


From US$ 481.1 million registered in the first ten months of last year, they rose to US$ 864.4 million, an increase of 79.67%.


Due to these figures, producers are optimistic with regard to business perspectives with the region. The year of 2005 should present an increase in sugar exports to the Middle East. At least in what depends on the state of Paraná.


“I have no doubt that these relations may grow next year,” stated the president of the Association of Alcohol and Sugar Producers of the State of Paraná (Alcopar), Aní­sio Tormena.


With a crop estimated at 29 million tons this year, the state is the second largest sugarcane producer in Brazil, losing only to São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil.


There are nine distilleries and 18 mills producing 1.8 million tons of sugar and 1.2 billion liters of alcohol. Of the total sugar production, 80% is exported. With regard to alcohol, 10% is destined to the foreign market.


Logistics


According to Tormena, companies in the sugar and alcohol sector in the state of Paraná should participate, next year, in fairs in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and in Damascus.


Expansion perspectives for the business are good, especially with regard to sugar, as the Arab countries use oil as their main source of energy, reducing possibilities for alcohol trade in the region.


According to the president of Alcopar, one of the factors favoring Paraná in terms of opening new markets in the Middle East is logistics.


Private company Paranaguá Terminais Portuários S.A. (Pasa), installed, in Paranaguá port, the first terminal specialized in sugar exports in bulk in the south of the country. The docking area has a draft of 37 feet and the loading capacity is one thousand tons per hour.


Good access conditions to the port and more and more efficient production in the state are two factors specialists mention as important differentials in the state sugar and alcohol production.


The author, Omar Nasser, works for Fiep – Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná – www.fiepr.com.br


Distributed by ANBA

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