The trade balance surplus of the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo was US$ 6.92 billion between January and August this year. Exports totaled US$ 10.36 billion and imports reached US$ 3.44 billion. The surplus is 8.6% greater than in the same period in 2006. And exports rose 13,8% in comparison to last year.
Despite the growth in the surplus, participation of São Paulo state agribusiness in the trade balance dropped in the period: last year it was 27.3%. This year, it has dropped to 25.9%. Still, it represents over one quarter of the total.
The reduction, although small, is due to an international reduction in the price of sugar, one of the main products exported by the state of São Paulo, according to José Sidnei Gonçalves, a researcher at the Agricultural Economics Institute (IEA), responsible for a study for the Agriculture and Supply Secretariat of the state of São Paulo.
"When the price of sugar rises, the participation of the state of São Paulo in the agribusiness trade balance rises. This year, as prices are low, the participation drops," stated Gonçalves.
"Now it is time for central Brazil to appear more, as soy prices are higher." Between 2005 and 2006, he recalls, the price of sugar doubled. From 2006 to 2007, it dropped by half.
The main products shipped by the state were the sugarcane complex, alcohol and sugar, beef, pulp and paper and citric juice. And of the US$ 10.36 billion in exports, the largest share is of processed products.
"Agribusiness of the state of São Paulo has a great differential: the power the sector has to add value. Here, 85% of the products exported undergo some kind of industrialization and/or processing, whereas in Brazilian exports as a whole, the level is 56%," stated Agriculture secretary João Sampaio.
"This shows that the generation of riches of the state of São Paulo comes from its capacity to industrialize and from its infrastructure. One example is the beef chain: we do not have the largest herd, but we are great exporters and processors of animals slaughtered in other states."
The state of São Paulo imported US$ 3.44 billion in agribusiness products from January to August this year – 26% more than in 2006. According to Gonçalves, agricultural imports of the state are mainly parts for the assembly of machinery and equipment. "State imports sustain the modern Brazilian agribusiness," he said.
In general, state exports totaled US$ 33.19 billion between January and August – 32.4% of foreign sales of the country. And imports, US$ 30.49 billion. The surplus was US$ 2.7 billion. The bilateral trade of the state, however, was US$ 63.68 billion in the period. It is over one third of the trade of the whole country, which ended at US$ 187.39 billion.
The state of São Paulo has 645 cities and over 40 million inhabitants. That is where the largest industrial park in the country and the main economic production is located. It answers to 31% of the GDP of the country.
Agribusiness is developed throughout the interior of the state of São Paulo and varied cultures ranging from sugarcane to banana. Agribusiness exports are fundamental to maintain the foreign trade surplus of the state.
Without agribusiness, from January to August this year, there would be a trade deficit of US$ 4.22 billion in the trade balance, instead of a surplus of US$ 2.7 billion.
Anba – www.anba.com.br
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