According to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce’s annual report for 2013 released recently, food exports from Brazil to Arab countries reached a record high of 17 million tons for the year with meat, sugar and cereals as the predominant products. Brazilian meat topped the list at over USD 4 billion, a 3% increase in value compared to 2012 with sales volume touched 2 million tons in 2013, representing more than 10% of Brazilian exports to the region. The UAE is the biggest commercial partner for Brazil among Arab countries, with its total imports growing over 5% to reach USD 2.5 billion
‘Frozen chicken cuts’ contributed the most to the robust Brazilian export figures, accounting for 15 % of the total food and other items traded with Arab countries in 2013. Exports of this product rose 11% to reach USD 2.1 billion to also reflect the exceptional ability of Brazil’s Halal certification agencies to ensure that all food products match Islamic standards. The category of ‘other sugars from sugar cane, beets, sucrose’ comprised 9% of total exports, cornering 26% of volumes to reach 2.7 million tons and 3% in value at USD 1.2 billion. Corn accounted for 9% of the total value with a 7% increase to reach USD 1.2 billion and a 25% gain in volume at 5.3 million tons.
“The trade balance for 2013 shows a greater refinement of Brazilian products exported to Arab Nations. The products have tremendously gained in intrinsic value from being sold in bulk to individual packages aimed at the final consumer. This shows that Brazilian traders have immensely improved their quality while adding on to the product value. Companies exporting refined sugar, for instance, have obtained Halal certification, branded their packaging, and now provide label information in Arabic. We have also noticed a greater level of professionalism from Brazilian companies in terms of meeting international standards and stepping up exports,” said Dr. Michel Alaby, General Secretary and CEO of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Alaby further emphasized that even though there is an evolution of Brazilian products, there is a greater need to further diversify food exports. The top 10 Brazilian products comprise more than 80% of the total amount traded while chicken, sugar and ore have a 41% share. “This highlights a latent business opportunity for Brazil with Arab countries which needs to be tapped further,” Dr. Alaby concluded.
Dairy products saw the most significant increase for 2013 over 2012. Condensed milk increased 38% in value and 33% in amount traded while whipping cream grew by 3% in value and 5% in amount traded. In the fruit and vegetables category, ‘lemons and limes’ gained 33% in amount and 32% in volume and ‘fresh melons’ a healthy increase of 6,000% and 4,000%, respectively. Finally, ‘other types of regular beans’ gained 84% in amount and 101% in volume.
Additionally, trade relations with Libya bounced back in 2013 with a total increase of 20%. Algeria also saw a significant boost in Brazilian exports.
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