Brazil Exports to the Arab countries generated US$ 1.824 billion in August, growth of 51% over the same month last year, according to figures disclosed by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. The value is a monthly record.
Among the main products shipped to the region there was growth in sales of sugar, ores, chicken, corn, machinery and equipment, inorganic chemical products, coffee and live cattle. Exports of vegetable oil remained practically stable while beef sales dropped.
“Exports of iron ore surprised positively, as they showed that the local industry is still working, despite the problems in the region,” said Michel Alaby, CEO at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. “This means that they (the Arabs) are producing steel, investing in construction and in the transformation industry,” he added.
Demand in the building sector may also be seen in machinery and equipment sales figures. Items like land-levelers, excavators and others of the kind answered to a large share of exports of this chapter in the month.
Brazilian iron ore also supplied the demand of Sohar Port, in Oman, where Vale has a pelleting plant and a maritime terminal.
“In the case of food, growth is natural, to contain inflation,” said Alaby. The Arab world greatly fears the increase of agricultural commodities on the international market, and this has resulted in the countries in the region establishing regulatory stocks.
In the year, exports from Brazil to the Middle East and North Africa totaled US$ 9.69 billion, growth of 32% over the period from January to August 2010. “The tendency is to maintain this growth up to the end of the year,” said Alaby.
A highlight is the greater sales to Algeria, which exceeded US$ 1 billion, growth of 128% over the first eight months of last year. In the case of the Emirates, whose purchases reached US$ 1.4 billion, the growth was 32%. Oman’s purchases, US$ 489 million, grew 494% and Tunisia’s, at US$ 282 million, grew 154%.
The main destinations for Brazilian products was Saudi Arabia, with imports of US$ 2.35 billion and growth of 26% over January to August last year, Egypt, with US$ 1.47 billion, growth of 27%, the Emirates, Algeria and Morocco, with US$ 495.5 million, growth of 25%.
On the other side, Brazilian imports of Arab products totaled US$ 913 million in August, growth of 81% over the same month in 2010. In the accumulated result for the year, purchases climbed to US$ 6.4 billion, growth of 43% over the period from January to August last year.
The highlight in the month of August and this year was to the import of oil and oil products, fertilizers and plastics. From January to August, there was also expressive growth in the imports of inorganic chemical products, cotton, glass and rubber.
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