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26/07/2017 - 07:00hs

Exports to Arab countries increase by 15%

USD 6.05 billion worth of goods were shipped from Brazil to Middle East and North Africa countries in the first half of the year. Sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria were up by over 10%.

São Paulo – Exports from Brazil to Middle East and North Africa countries came out to USD 6.05 billion in the first half of 2017, up 15.54% from H1 2016, as per data supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services and compiled by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

The top-selling items were sugar, meats and ores. The three products accounted for 74% of total sales from Brazil to Arab countries in the first six months of the year.

Sales to the top three Arab buyers of Brazilian goods increased in H1. Saudi Arabia’s imports were up 10.98% to USD 1.37 billion worth of goods. The UAE’s imports were up 19.42% to USD 1.08 billion and Algeria purchased USD 684.7 million worth of goods from Brazil, up 26.44% year-on-year in H1.

“Imports are going up because they are replenishing their [food] stockpiles now that Ramadan has ended,” explains Arab Chamber CEO Michel Alaby regarding the hike in exports in the wake of the Muslim holy month.

Sales to Egypt, which was the fourth biggest Arab buyer of products from Brazil, dropped by 25.23% year-on-year in H1. Alaby believes the economic scenario in the North African country was the primary reason imports went down.

He hopes, however, that new food purchases by Egypt’s army will fuel sales. “The army is purchasing, especially meats, so things may improve in the second half. The army is buying food to give out to the population,” he says.

Meat sales from Brazil to Arab countries came out to USD 1.77 billion. Sugar accounted for USD 2.13 billion, while ore sales soared by 132.57% in H1 to USD 564.52 million. Despite the Brazilian Federal Police’s meat packers probe Operation Carne Fraca, beef exports to Arab countries were for the most part unharmed.

“The first half of this year was a time of hard work for the Arab Brazilian Chamber, which did intensive work to help minimize, as much as possible, the impact on Brazilian beef exports to Arab countries,” said Chamber president Rubens Hannun.

He noted that several delegation trips took place, and that “in tandem with the Ministry of Agriculture and with industry organizations, any existing repercussions were neutralized, proof of which is the fact that the decline in sales was mild, considering the problems faced this year,” explained Hannun.


Brazil’s imports of goods from Middle East and North Africa countries were up 26.94% in H1 to USD 3.38 billion.
The leading Arab suppliers of goods to Brazil were Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar and Kuwait. Oil and its products and fertilizers made up the near entirety of Brazil’s imports from Arab countries.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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