Brazilian agribusiness exports have already broken a record this year: Growth in January was 11.1% compared with January, 2004. According to the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), this is this highest index registered in January since 1997.
The head of the CNA’s Foreign Trade Department, Antônio Donizeti, informed that exports have practically doubled over the last eight years, from US$ 23.4 million to the current figure of US$ 39.1 million.
Imports, on the other hand, have been halved, from US$ 8.2 million to US$ 4.8 million, over the same period. “Agribusiness is the sector responsible for Brazil’s excellent trade surplus,” he guaranteed.
Donizeti observes, however, that this pace of growth should decrease in the coming months, in light of the forecast for a drop in soybean prices around the world.
“This year Brazilian soybean exports will decrease from US$ 10 billion to US$ 9 billion, compared with last year. Even so, the harvest should grow from 50 million tons to 61 million tons,” he explains.
If soybeans are causing the indices to decline, meat is keeping exports at a balanced level.
“Mad cow disease and Asian bird flu opened new markets for Brazil,” Donizeti remarks, and, in his view, the performance can get even better if Russia reopens its market to Brazil.
Sugar and alcohol exports also registered growth in January: 38.7%, corresponding to US$ 254.5 million, compared with the same period in 2004. Coffee exports were also up, 69.4%.
Translation: David Silberstein
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