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Brazil promotes agribusiness trade with Arab countries

Monday, February 1st 2010 - 06:05 UTC
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President at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Salim Taufic Schahin President at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Salim Taufic Schahin

Brazilian agribusiness exports to Arab countries generated 6.86 billion US dollars in 2009 last year, 14% over 2008, according to figures from the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade and compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. This in spite of the factor that total agribusiness sales dropped 9.8%.

“This is emblematic, exports only rose to developing nations” said the director of the International Agribusiness Promotion Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Eduardo Sampaio Marques.

He also pointed out the greater volume of shipments to Asia and Africa. “This is a sign that something had already been taking place in Brazil: diversification of markets”.

In a year of financial crisis, which affected international trade, there have been significant changes in participation of economic and geographic blocs as destinations for agricultural exports from Brazil. The Middle East, for example, climbed from the fourth to the third position among main markets, and Asia took over from the European Union as the main partner.

President at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Salim Taufic Schahin, pointed out that “Brazil is very competitive in agribusiness” and that there is still “great potential” for expansion of agricultural product exports to the Arab world.

In fact, from 2008 to 2009, the participation of the Arab market in Brazilian sector exports rose from 8.4% to 10.6%, according to the organization. Main products shipped were poultry and beef, which generated revenues of 2.71 billion USD in 2009. The growth was, however, boosted mainly by sugar exports, which generated 2.57 billion USD, a growth of almost 45% in compared to 2008.

There have also been significant increases in sales of corn, soy, tobacco, industrialized meats, soy chaff, soluble coffee and fruit.

Despite growth, Marques believes that there is space to expand trade in several items such as beef, green and roasted coffee and fruit, like pineapple, bananas, limes, oranges and apples, orange juice, eggs, dairy and processed food in general.

With this in mind, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Arab Brazilian Chamber will be participating in the Gulfood, a fair from the food sector Dubai, United Arab Emirates from February 21st to 24th. The Brazilian stand with the support from the ministry and commerce chamber will count with 12 exhibitors.

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