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06/07/2017 - 19:15hs

Brazil increases car exports to Arab countries

From January to June, shipments to the region went up 77.4%. According to the sector’s association, the industry started to look beyond Latin America.

São Paulo – Brazilian automakers increasaed their exports to the Arab countries in the first six months of 2017. A survey done by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, based on data from the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Affairs and Services (MDIC), shows that sales of passenger cars, the main item exported by the auto industry to the region, increased 77.4% in the period, reaching USD 98.2 million.

In the same way, sales of chassis fitted with engines, the second most exported product by the sector to the Arabs in the first six months also increased, by 10.1% to USD 8.12 million.

The National Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association (ANFAVEA) does not make available the number of assembled cars exported per country, but its president, Antonio Megale, pointed out that the region is one of the targets of Brazilian automakers, which helps to explain the increase in shipments of cars to the Arabs.

“In the past, we exported a lot to the Middle East and now the attention is turned back to the region, within the context of a viewpoint by the industry of turning Brazil into more of a exporter market,” explained the executive.

Overall, however, adding up all the products exported to the Arabs by the Anfavea members – which also represents the agricultural machinery sector – there was a decline of 4.4% in revenues, dropping from USD 133 million in the first six months of last year to USD 127.1 million in the same period this year. The highlight was the decline in sales of loaders and wheel-loaders, which was the third most exported item in the first six months of 2016 and generated only USD 737,000 this year, a 95% decline.

According to Megale, the Latin American countries, especially Argentina and Mexico, are the main clients for Brazilian products. “I highlight the increase of Chile, Uruguay and Peru in the first six months,” he said. The association’s president also mentioned Russia, whose orders have been increasing, especially of trucks. “All the automakers are looking beyond Latin America,” he said.

Revising forecasts

Overall, exports by the auto industry – considering vehicles and agricultural machinery – totaled USD 7.4 billion in the year’s first six months, up 53% over the same period of last year. It was the third best result ever, trailing only the first six months of 2011 and 2013, according to Megale.

However, in volume, vehicle exports were record-breaking: 372,600 units shipped, up 57.2% over the 236,900 cars, light comercial vehicles, trucks and bus chassis shipped to other markets from January to June of last year. Agricultural machinery exports also increased in volume: from 4,5400 to 5,700, up 28.5%.

The results of exports in the first six months made ANFAVEA revise its forecasts for the year. Now, the association is expecting to end 2017 with 705,000 vehicles exported, an increase of 35.6% over 2016 – the previous forecast was of a 7.2% increase to 558,000 units. In revenues, the expectation is to end the year at USD 13.9 billion, up 30.7% over last year. “The new forecast is a reflection of the exports’ good performance,” conclude Megale.

The domestic market ended the first six months with sales up 3.7% to 1.019 million units sold. Output in the period increased 23.3% to 1.263 million vehicles assembled from January to June.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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