Brazil Break Through US$ 2 Billion Export Barrier

BRAZIL - The latest Brazilian export figures have revealed that they have surpassed the US$2 billion milestone, between the months of January and May.
calendar icon 12 June 2008
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Exports totalled US$ 2.06 billion, representing growth of 10.4% over the same period last year. A total of 920,860 tonnes were shipped, decrease of 20.27% using the same basis for comparison. The figures were disclosed yesterday (10th) by the Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec).

According to the new president at Abiec, Roberto Giannetti da Fonseca, who assumed the position a week ago, for the first time in the sector's history, revenues from beef exports surpassed US$ 2 billion in the period ranging from January to May. "We have lost quantity, but gained value," he claimed. According to the president, the main causes for the decrease in volume were the European embargo on Brazilian beef and the increase in the product's prices, which led to a reduction in demand. "Our cattle supply has decreased, 15 kilograms of beef are now worth from 80 to 90 reals (approximately US$ 49 to 55), whereas last year it was worth 55 reals (US$ 33)," he claimed.

"We are leaders in the global market"
President at Abiec, Roberto Giannetti da Fonseca

Brazilian beef is already exported to 150 different countries, and the Abiec is working to open up new markets and diversify the product in emerging countries. "We are leaders in the global market," stated Giannetti. According to him, for every three kilograms of beef exported worldwide, one kilogram comes from Brazil.

The leading market for Brazilian raw beef from January to May was Russia, which imported 243,450 tonnes, resulting in revenues of US$ 570.62 million. Next comes Venezuela, with revenues of US$ 112.88 million and a volume of 47,750 tonnes. Third in the ranking is Hong Kong, which imported US$ 100 million and 46,410 tonnes. The 15 leading importer countries of the Brazilian product also include Arab nations, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

In May, foreign beef sales totalled US$ 478 million, representing growth of 7.7% in comparison with the same month last year. Shipments totalled 197,520, decrease of 25.75% using the same basis for comparison.

New direction

Roberto Giannetti da Fonseca, born in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais (SE Brazil), assumed the presidency of Abiec, replacing the former minister of Agriculture, Marcus Vinícius Pratini de Moraes. Giannetti holds a bachelor's degree in Economy from the University of São Paulo (USP) and was the Executive Secretary at the Chamber of Foreign Commerce (Camex), an organisation linked to the Presidency of the Republic, from February 2000 until June 2002.

Currently, Gianetti is the president at companies Ethanol Trading, Silex Trading and Brex América, headquartered in Miami, United States. He was elected president at the Foundation Centre for Studies in Foreign Trade in 2003, and foreign relations director at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp) in 2004.

Also attending the press conference yesterday at the Abiec head office, in São Paulo, was the new executive director at the organisation, Luiz Carlos de Oliveira, who graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Federal University of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais. His last activities were consultant for the government of the State of Minas Gerais; coordinator at the Technical Chamber for the Beef Cattle Breeding Sector, of the State Council for Agriculture (Cepa-Minas Gerais) and director at the Department of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Negotiation of the Secretariat for Foreign Relations in Agribusiness at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.

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