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15/02/2018 - 18:34hs

Dairy exports to Arab countries up 26%

Sales from Brazil increased in 2017 from 2016, whereas total foreign sales of milk-based products slid. Exports to Saudi Arabia weakened, but Algeria resumed buying Brazilian product.

São Paulo – Dairy exports from Brazil to Arab countries increased by 26.5% in 2017 from 2016, as per numbers supplied to ANBA by the Brazilian dairy industry association (Associação Brasileira de Laticínios - Viva Lácteos). The numbers include milk and its products, such as condensed milk and milk powder, as well as cheese, cream, butter, requeijão and dulce de leche.

Revenue from dairy exports to Arab countries came out to USD 31.6 million last year, far outperforming overall dairy exports, which slid by 35%. Arab countries accounted for 28% of exports, nearly double the 14.4% share they had retained in 2016.

“The biggest Arab buyer of Brazilian dairy remains Saudi Arabia, despite its stepping down its imports. Algeria, which hadn’t purchased product in 2016, went back to buying dairy, more specifically milk powder, in November 2017,” Viva Lácteos CEO Marcelo Martins told ANBA via email.

Saudi Arabia bought USD 9.6 million worth of dairy from Brazil in 2017, down 22.5% year-on-year. Martins said this was due to a drop in condensed milk sales. “sales went from nearly 7,000 tons in 2016 to 4,300 tons in 2017,” he said. Saudi Arabia is the industry’s second biggest buyer overall, trailing Venezuela.

Algeria was the second biggest Arab buyer of dairy from Brazil, at USD 6.9 million. The UAE placed third at USD 6.8 million, up 17.6%. Other Arab buyers were Kuwait Kuwait (USD 2.1 million), Qatar (USD 1.8 million), Oman (USD 1.7 million), Tunisia (USD 1.3 million) and Bahrain (USD 1.1 million). All of the latter, except Bahrain, spent more on dairy from Brazil last year than they had in 2016.

Despite the fact that industry exports as a whole weakened last year, a Viva Lácteos press release from early February underscored that the industry’s trade deficit narrowed from USD 485 million in 2016 to USD 449 million last year. Dairy imports to Brazil were down 14.5% to USD 562 million in 2017, while still remaining relevant.

Dairy exports from Brazil amounted to USD 113 million in 2017. The best-selling product was condensed milk, followed by whole milk powder in second and cream in third.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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