Brazil's Minas Gerais state exports to the Arab world doubled in the first half of this year when compared to the same period last year. The state grew from revenues of US$ 253 million in the first six months of 2007, to sales of US$ 507.7 million to the nations in the League of Arab States in the same months of this year. The growth was 100%. That is, additional revenues reached US$ 254 million.
Minas rose from being the fifth largest Brazilian exporter to the Arab world in the first half of 2007, to being the third in this half, losing only to São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. And the value exported was close to that sold by Rio Grande do Sul, which reached US$ 565 million. The state of São Paulo, however, was well ahead, with US$ 1.2 billion.
In terms of volume, exports from the state of Minas Gerais to the Arab nations totaled 3.5 million tons. In the same period in 2007, the state exported a volume of 632,900 tons. The increase was 455%. The products that headed the list were iron ore, iron billets, semi-manufactured iron, chicken, sugar, beef, milk, coffee and eggs.
The greatest growth was identified in iron ore and iron product exports. Non-agglomerated and concentrated iron ore sales, for example, rose from US$ 11.1 million to US$ 107 million. Those of agglomerated and concentrated iron ore totaled US$ 6 million. In the first half of 2007, the product was not sold. The state of Minas Gerais houses units of large mining companies like Samarco, Cotemig and Vale do Rio Doce.
There was also growth in sales of chicken and beef, milk and eggs. Egg exports, for example, rose from US$ 835,000 between January and June last year, to US$ 11.2 million this year. Apart from that, products that were not in the basket in the first half of 2007, like iron alloy pipes, chains, soy oil and diesel vehicles, started being exported.
Bahrain was the Arab country that purchased the largest volumes of ores from January to June, with US$ 106.4 million. The country was also responsible for a large part of the growth of shipments of the state to the region, as, in the first half of 2007, the country had only purchased US$ 4.7 million.
The second main buyer of products from Minas Gerais was the United Arab Emirates, with purchases of US$ 106 million, against US$ 45.4 million in the same months in 2007. The third was Kuwait, with US$ 84.5 million, and the fourth, Saudi Arabia, with US$ 75 million.
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