Gráfica Santa Marta in Brazil Exports from the graphic industry in Brazil grew 10.8% in the first quarter this year, resulting in revenues of US$ 64.97 million for companies in the sector. The information was supplied by the Brazilian Association of the Graphic Arts Industry (Abigraf), based on data from the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

    Packages led exports by the segment, having answered to US$ 25.5 million, or 39% of total sales, followed by printed cards, at US$ 12.9 million, the equivalent to 18.7%.

    Imports also posted significant expansion during the period. They grew 30.7% between January and March compared with the same period in 2007, totaling US$ 82.1 million. In the same months of last year, graphic industry exports stood at US$ 62.8 million.

    Publishing sector products, such as magazines and books, answered to 45% of total imports, or US$ 37.6 million. Printed cards represented 24.3%, or US$ 20.1 million, and packages answered to 14%, or US$ 12.9 million.

    Export and import figures resulted in a deficit of US$ 17.6 million to Brazil. The value was 302% greater than in the first three months of 2007, when trade balance ran a deficit of US$ 4.28 million.

    According to the president at the Abigraf, Mário César de Camargo, the cause for the rising deficit was the appreciation of the Brazilian currency. "The average exchange rate in the first quarter of 2007 was 2.1 reais for US$ 1; now, it has reached 1.73 reais for US$ 1," he explains, in a press release issued by the organization.

    The notebook segment was among those for which exports decreased in the beginning of the current year, as it posted a 44% decrease in exports. The segment has always been one of the leading collaborators to the graphic industry trade surplus.

    The president at Abigraf claims, however, that the deficit will not cause significant harm to the sector, as exports represent less than 2% of total sales by the graphic industry.

    "The Brazilian graphic industry, in general lines, continues to grow, keeping pace with the evolution of the country's Gross Domestic Product," asserts Camargo.

    Last year, the segment posted revenues of 17 billion reais (US$ 10.2 billion), growth of 4.5% over the previous year. The graphic industry, according to the president at Abigraf, is still generating jobs and increasing its number of companies in Brazil.

    Anba

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