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13/12/2017 - 18:57hs

Promotion, consumption fuel coffee sales to Arab countries

Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council chairman Nelson Carvalhaes said the country ‘does a great job’ in the region and that consumption is picking up worldwide.

São Paulo – Coffee exports from Brazil declined this year, yet sales to Arab countries have gone up. In an interview with ANBA, the chairman of the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafé), Nelson Carvalhaes, said the country does good promotion work in the Arab world, and that consumption is increasing around the world.

Mauro Pimentel/AFP

Exports went up to Arab countries, but dropped in global terms

“Brazil does a great job in the Arab and Middle East countries as a whole,” Carvalhaes said. “We have invested a lot in that market over the last few years, and people are looking to ship product to that region more and more,” he added.

Sales from Brazil to the region came out to USD 209 million from January to November, up janeiro 28.3% from a year ago according to Cecafé. Volume shipped was 1.27 million 60-kg bags of coffee, a 12% year-on-year increase.

“Quality-wise, Brazilian coffee enjoys good acceptance in Arab countries. We are very efficient in our exports to the region,” said Carvalhaes. “Moreover, consumption is increasing all over the world, and Arab countries are no exception,” he remarked.

Nonetheless, total revenue from exports slid by 3.1% for Brazil to USD 4.7 billion. Volume shipped was down 10.7% to 27.7 million bags.

The Cecafé chairman said this is due to weaker output stemming from weather-related issues. Since 2015, dry weather has taken its toll – especially when it comes to Robusta coffee farming in the state of Espírito Santo. The latest crop has also been smaller for Arabica coffee – by far the major variety in Brazil in terms of production and exports.

As a result, the share of total exports from Brazil that went to Arab countries went from 4% year-to-date through November last year to 5% this year. Carvalhaes believes sales to those countries will keep going up. “There’s no question of that. That region has a coffee-drinking history; that’s where the habit of drinking coffee came from in the first place. Coffee came out of Ethiopia and got to the Arab world first. Only afterwards did it get to Europe,” he said.

The Cecafé chairman also said he expects a good 2018/2019 crop, provided that rainfall remains the same. “It all leads to believe it will be a good crop,” he concluded.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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