The UAE was alone among Gulf states to have significant shipments of Brazilian beef arriving on its shores
The UAE was the fourth largest Arab importer of Brazilian beef in 2014, statistics released by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) show.
The country imported $76.18 million worth of beef, up from $69.79 million in the previous year.
Brazilian beef exports to Arab countries soared by 8.7 per cent this year, with the region consuming $907 million worth of beef. ABCC said the significant increase demonstrated continuous strong trade ties between the Arab states and Brazil.
Egypt recorded the highest volume of beef imports in 2014 followed by Algeria and Lebanon. Some $526.07 million worth of Brazilian beef was shipped to Egypt, representing a 15.67 per cent increase over the 2013 figure of $454.78 million.
Algeria experienced 13 per cent growth to reach $93.31 million from 2013’s $82.58 million. Lebanon’s 2014 growth hit a high 11.83 per cent.
Dr Michel Alaby, secretary general and CEO of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The beef trade relations between the Arab countries and Brazil have continued to flourish over the years. Like in the previous quarters, Brazil’s strict adherence to the halal process, attention to high quality and competitive pricing are key drivers that are further reinforcing their ties. We expect to witness a stronger trade partnership between the South American country and the Arab region next year as we, at ABCC, remain steadfast in our commitment to facilitate and introduce new trading opportunities to sustain the existing significant market growth.”
According to the Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters, Abiec, Egypt was fifth among country or regional markets that registered the highest beef imports from Brazil in 2014. The top five were Hong Kong, Russia, the EU, Venezuela and Egypt. Imports into Egypt were 142,594 tonnes during the year against 360,647 tonnes imported by top-placed Hong Kong.
Abiec was founded in 1979 from a need for exporters of beef to become more performance-focused and more aggressive in defending gtheir particular interest. Abiec is the main representative of industry in the areas of international trade regulations, health requirements and open markets.
“About 10 years ago, Brazilian beef was not on the agenda of the issues discussed in international forums. We used to sell just over $500 million per year, but today the reality is different. Brazil has been top of the world’s largest exporters of beef by volume since 2004, and in 2006 occupied the first place in foreign exchange revenue for the first time. In 2008, Brazil reached $5.3 billion, increasing the value of its exports by ten-fold in a period of less than 10 years,” an Abiec statement said.
Sales of more than $7 billion were said to have been generated in 2014, according to the Brazilian Association of Support to the Beef Industry. The sales were helped by a reduction in North American beef herds, Brazil’s main competitor, the ingternational political situation, the breakdown of barriers and the approval of international markets in favour of Brazilian beef, among other factors.
Brazil is next focusing on fostering gourmet meat and counting on support from the Brazilian Promotion for Exports and Investment. Destination markets will be Europe, Arab countries and China as explained by the executive president of Abiec, Antonio Jorge Camardelli, who underscored that the opportunity in the premium niche was pointed out in a branding survey conducted by Abiec and Apex-Brazil
“The survey showed that Brazil had an expressive share in culinary meats and ingredients besides potential room to grow in gourmet meat. We will be focusing our efforts to conquer this market through special promotion and dissemination actions directly among consumers,” he added.
Promising times are expected for the Brazilian beef industry.
The Chinese embargo has been suspended and Saudi Arabia and Japan have announced the end of their emnargoes. At the beginning of 2015, embargoes were still in effect in Saudi Arabia (ended but still to be ratified), Bahrain, Qatar, South Korea, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru and Byelorussia.
Brazil’s total herd is 210 million. Approximately 20 per cent of the beef produced in Brazil is exported.
In partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Abiec and its associates have participated in internagtional fairs such as Gulfood in Dubai, SIAL in Paris, World Food in Moscow and Anuga in Cologne, Germany.