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20/11/2017 - 07:00hs
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Exports to Arab countries climbed 52% in October

An increase in Egypt’s and Saudi Arabia’s imports, two of the largest buyers of Brazilian products in the month, improved the performance. From January to October, sales to the Arabs increased 22.3%.



São Paulo – Brazilian exports to Arab countries climbed 52.6% in October, compared to the same month of last year, reaching USD 1.36 billion. The data is from the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) and reveals the best result for October since 2012.

The performance of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the two main markets for Brazilian products among Arab countries this month, helps explain the increase. For the Saudis, sales totaled USD 289 million, up 109% over October 2016, while the Egyptian market bought USD 271.3 million last month, up 144.6% over the same month of 2016.

“Egypt continues to influence positively the results of Brazilian exports to the Arab countries. Not only in regard to October, the performance in the year is also above average,” said Rubens Hannun, the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

While foreign sales to all Arab countries totaled USD 11.4 billion from January to October, up 22.3% in comparison to 2016’s first ten months, Egypt registered a hike of 31.7%, reaching USD 2 billion in purchases in the period. “They increased purchases of meat and sugar, especially,” explained the Arab Chamber’s CEO, Michel Alaby.

Year-to-date until October, Egypt is the third largest buyer of Brazilian products among Arabs. Ahead of it are Saudi Arabia, with USD 2.32 billion in imports, up 13.9%, and the United Arab Emirates, up 19.7% to USD 2.1 billion.

The Arab countries account for 6.23% of Brazilian exports in the year’s first ten months. In total, Brazil exported USD 183.5 billion, up 19.9% over the same period of 2016.

“Exports to the Arab countries continue to gain ground, a reflection of the work being conducted by the Arab Chamber,” pointed out president Hannun, mentioning as examples the actions that the organization organized, alongside the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) to minimize the impact of Operação Carne Fraca in exports of Brazilian beef.

Launched by the Federal Police in March, the operation revealed irregularities in some Brazilian meat processing plants, but soon the situation was solved. In May, a mission headed by MAPA, with the support of the Arab Chamber, visited countries in the region to underscore the safety and quality of Brazilian meat. “Thanks to this effort, we were able to even increase exports to the region,” said Hannun.

Until October, shipments of all types of meats to the Arabs increased 3.4%, generating USD 3.1 billion. It’s the second most-sold product by Brazil in the region, trailing only sugar, which totaled USD 3.93 billion in the period, up 40%.

Together, meats and sugar account for over 60% of Brazilian exports to Arab countries.

Imports

In the year’s first ten months, Brazilian imports from Arab countries totaled USD 5.3 billion, up 17.1% over the same period of last year. Algeria, with USD 2 billion (up 31.2%), Saudi Arabia, with USD 1.02 billion (up 50.8%), and Morocco, with USD 703 million (up 37.1%), were the main sources for Brazilian purchases.

Fuel and organic and inorganic fertilizers accounted for over 90% of what Brazil imported from the countries in the region. “The Arab Chamber keeps working hard to diversify the products imported from the Arabs, organizing events and searching for partnerships in the region,” said Michel Alaby.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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