Arabs looking to diversify food imports
During matchmaking at the Arab chamber, companies express interest in buying goods they do not import from Brazil yet. The items include dairy, maize and poultry for mechanical processing.
São Paulo – Three food importing companies from North Africa are engaging in matchmaking this Wednesday (2nd) at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. They are mostly seeking products they do not buy from Brazil yet. The event is a part of the World Cup Project, developed by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) in partnership with sectorial organizations.
Waleed Khoshala, the Imports director for Egypt’s Ragab Sons Group, said his company is a major importer of Brazilian poultry, and buys from leading local companies such as a BR Foods, JBS and Minerva. “I have a 30% stake in the Egyptian poultry market. I am the country’s leading poultry importer,” he said.
At the negotiations this Wednesday, however, he is interested in finding suppliers of dairy, chocolate and biscuit. He is also willing to see new products, since the group owns a vast wholesale and retail network, with 67 supermarkets.
“I am looking for salt-free butter, which sells very well in my country, but we are heavily reliant on New Zealand. I want to buy from another country, and Brazilian salt-free butter has good quality,” said Khoshala.
“The Egyptian company was keenly interested in our line for bakery, pastry and dairy industries, because they are making their own products at their supermarkets,” said Débora Lapa, the Export manager for companies Alibra and Ultrapan.
Alibra specializes in dairy products, and is active in the industrial, food service and retail ends. Ultrapan makes juices, energy drinks, isotonic drinks and teas. Currently, on the Arab market, Alibra exports dairy to Mauritania.
Last year, Algeria’s Onab purchased US$ 30 million worth of soy from Brazil. The Algerian state-owned company is also looking to import maize, other cereals and poultry from Brazil.
“In the second half this year, we want to buy 100,000 tonnes of maize from Brazil. We want to develop this business, that is why I am here,” said the Supplies director Younes Aouine. He also said his country wants to import poultry from Brazil because the price is good.
One of the Brazilian companies that are hoping to strike a deal with Onab is trading company Brasil Agri. “We have the product they need, soy bran and maize for animal consumption. We will assess the demand from this and other potential clients and see whether we can do business,” said trader Mônica Queiroz.
Morocco’s Koutoubia Holding is the leading seller of poultry in its country, with a 75% market share.” “The idea is to import poultry from Brazil, process it and ship it to Africa, where we have lots of customers,” said Omar Iraqi Housseyni, Acquisition and Supply manager.
“We also have strong demand for mechanically separated meat (for cold meats made of chicken) and I hope to find an exporter that can supply the volume I need, which is from 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes per year,” said the director. Presently, the Moroccan company does not buy product from Brazil.
Guilherme Esteves, the manager for trading company Evia Foods, which deals in poultry, beef and fish, gave a positive assessment of the matchmaking, and hopes to close deals with some of the buyers.
The trading company already sells to Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar. “Today, out of three people I spoke with, two are very likely to close deals: both Ragab Sons and Koutoubia are seeking out products we can offer, so we will probably do business with these two,” the executive said.
*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum