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Agribusiness exported US$ 242 million to the Arabs

by 5m Editor
21 February 2006, at 12:00am

BRAZIL - The January value was practically stable in comparison to the same month last year. To the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr., this indicates that Brazil has strongly expanded sales of industrialised goods since, in total, exports to the region increased by 22% reaching US$ 388 million.

Agribusiness exported US$ 242 million to the Arabs - BRAZIL - The January value was practically stable in comparison to the same month last year. To the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr., this indicates that Brazil has strongly expanded sales of industrialised goods since, in total, exports to the region increased by 22% reaching US$ 388 million.

Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries yielded US$ 242 million in January and were kept practically stable in comparison to the same month last year, when shipments added up to US$ 242.3 million. To the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Sarkis Jr., this indicates that Brazil has strongly expanded sales of industrialised products to the Arabs as, in total, exports to the region increased by 22.3% and reached US$ 388.8 million.

"Agribusiness is still the main sector in exports to the Arab countries, but it is already possible to see that other products, especially manufactured goods, have conquered space in this market," said Sarkis. "Proof of this is that exports in general have increased a lot, in spite of agribusiness remaining stable," he added.

Stability was ensured as although on one side there was a reduction in sales of some products, on the other, there was an increase in exports of other products. Shipments of sugar, for example, dropped in an accentuated manner. "But this isn't happening only in relation to the Arab countries, but for the external market in general," said Crebil Ferman, partner at Global Guiders, Brazilian trading company that works in exporting the commodity to the Middle East.

According to him, there is a shortage of sugar in the market due to the high international demand, to the period between harvests in Brazil and to a greater demand for alcohol fuel in the internal market, which made millers opt for the production of ethanol rather than sugar. In all, Brazil exported US$ 268.2 million in sugar in January. The value is 26% greater than that registered in January 2005, but, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, the increase is due to the commodity's appreciation, as in terms of volume shipments dropped by 9%.

And the reduction in sugar sales weighed on the situation. To Saudi Arabia, for example, which is Brazil's main client in the region, exports went from US$ 21.6 million in January 2005 to only US$ 884 in January this year. The same happened in other important markets, such as Egypt, Algeria, Syria and Yemen.

At the same time, meat exports (beef and poultry) increased from US$ 98.7 million in January 2005 to US$ 120.3 million in January this year, which means an increase in 21.8%. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are heading the list of importers for these goods.

Similar movements happened in relation to the destinations. While Saudi Arabia reduced purchases by 30.9%, the United Arab Emirates increased their imports by 130%; while shipments to Algeria dropped in almost 80%, sales to Morocco increased by 63% and to Lebanon by 133%. Morocco, in fact, is now the second main importer of Brazilian agribusiness products amongst the African countries, losing only to Egypt, and ahead of South Africa and Nigeria, which are Brazil's traditional partners amongst developing countries.

In the case of Algeria, for example, Sarkis recalls that during the second half last year an agreement between the Arab country and the European Union became effective, and this made imports taxes drop strongly and competition with Brazilian products increase, as Europe produces similar goods.

Source: Brazil-Arab News Agency - 16th February 2006

5m Editor