Halal Industry 

Brazil: Exports to Arabs totaled USD 11.5 billion in 2016

| 20 January, 2017
 Aurea Santos

20/01/2017 - 07:00hs | SAO PAULO

Brazil’s exports to Arab countries in 2016 totaled USD 11.47 billion, a decline of 5.34% over 2015. The volume shipped reached 35.91 million tons, down 18.69% in the same comparison. The data was provided by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC) and organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

“There was a drop in oil prices, a drop in maize output, a significant decline in poultry prices and beef remained stable. In 2016, beef exports to Saudi Arabia returned, however, they had already found many [alternative] suppliers,” explained Michel Alaby, CEO of the Arab Chamber, talking about the main causes that drove down the numbers.

However, Alaby also points out that there were positive aspects in the trade between Brazil and the Arab countries last year, such as sales of USD 8.627 billion in foodstuff and cereal to the region, which accounted to 12.4% of Brazil’s total exports of the sector. In 2015, it accounted for 12% of all the sector’s exports.

The executive said that Arab nations such as Comoros Islands and Yemen, which weighed very little in Brazil’s foreign sales, increased its imports of local products. Exports to Comoros Islands, Africa, for instance, increased 37.38% in volume and 119.97% in revenues. To Yemen, there was a 63.51% increase in volume and revenues went up 79.15%.

“A positive factor was the increase in sugar prices. Comoros Islands and Yemen increased their imports due to sugar,” he said. Imports by Djibouti, another Arab country, “increased significantly,” said Alaby. The volume of sales by Brazil to the country went up over 1,000% last year, while revenues increased 531%. Iraq also bought more from Brazil last year, especially beef and sugar.


Imports of Arab products by Brazil reached 15.9 million tons in 2016, down 1.1% in volume. In revenues, foreign purchases totaled USD 5.24 billion, a decline of 35.21% over 2015.

Fuels registered the sharper decline within Brazilian imports, sliding 12.2% in quantity and 35.21% in dollars.

Purchases of organic fertilizers, however, second on the list of imports by Brazil from Arabs, went up. In 2016, Brazil imported 4.95 million tons of fertilizers (+37.43%), with revenues of USD 1.31 billion (+6%).

Overall, 2016 ended with a trade surplus of USD 6.234 billion, 25% more than in 2015.

Alaby has positive expectations for 2017. The CEO of the Arab Chamber expects factors such as the recovery of oil prices, the need for Brazil to expand its foreign markets and the replenish of food stocks by the Arabs to turn 2017 “in a more promising year for trade with the Arab countries.”

“We can achieve major improvements starting in March, with the crops coming in. Estimates point that the price of commodities will remain stable, with a trend to go up, contrary to last year,” he added.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

Copyright Brazil-Arab News Agency