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Only Chinese and Arabs Are Buying More from Brazil

September 3rd, 2009

cargo_shipUpon analyzing the figures of the Brazilian trade balance from January to July, one will notice that out of the ten leading export targets for Brazil, only China and the Arab countries have increased their purchases of Brazilian products.

China has retained its position as the leading destination for the country’s foreign sales. From January to July this year, the Chinese bought US$ 12.4 billion in Brazilian products.

During the same period, the 22 Arab countries combined were the fourth largest destination for Brazilian exports, generating revenues of US$ 5.18 billion.

According to the Market Development Manager of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rodrigo Solano, the rise in exports to the Arabs seen this year was strongly influenced by sugar exports, which grew 49.3% during the period.

The fact that India has gone from a supplier to a buyer, among other factors, has impacted Brazilian exports to the Arab world. The Arabs tend to buy more from Brazil, and the high pricing of the commodity leads revenues from exports to increase even further.

As a matter of fact, from January to July, exports of sugar to the Arab countries grew 50%, generating revenues of US$ 1.2 billion. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are respectively the fourth and sixth largest buyers of Brazilian sugar in the world.

On the other hand, the improvement expected to take place in the world economy still this year and the forecast that, in 2010, Arab economies should grow way above the global average of 5%, indicate that Brazilian trade with the Arabs will continue to expand, and that the country is perfectly capable of significantly increasing its share in imports made by Arab countries. In 2010, foreign purchases by the Arabs are estimated to reach US$ 645 billion.

“The new year may be a favorable moment for increasing sales of a wide variety of Brazilian products, including higher added value ones. It is important right now for Brazilian companies to focus on trade promotion and marketing for the Arab markets,” says Rodrigo Solano.

High Production

With the milling of 40 million tons of sugarcane in the first half of August, factories in the Mid-South region of Brazil crushed 4.3 million more tons than in the second half of July, when 35.7 million tons were milled. Since the beginning of the 2009/2010 crop, the Mid-South milled 286.6 million tons, growth of 17.28% over the same period in the previous crop.

Out of the total volume of cane processed since the start of the crop, 43.33% was turned to sugar manufacturing, resulting in an accumulated volume of 15.3 million tons, 23.44% more than the accumulated volume in the same period of the previous crop. In the first half of August alone, the volume of sugar produced was 2.5 million tons. Mixed factories, which produce sugar and ethanol, are still giving priority to sugar production, due to the more rewarding prices.

Natural Gas

The state of Bahia has become the leading producer and supplier of natural gas in the Brazilian Northeast, and the third largest in the country. Since the beginning of August, the state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras has been supplying the market with 8 million cubic meters of natural gas per day at the Manati Field, in Camamu Bay (Dendê Coast), in the Lower South region of the state.

The Manati Project includes a fixed production platform, in the municipality of Cairu, six production wells, a 125-kilometer-long gas pipeline, and a treatment station in the municipality of São Francisco do Conde. Production started out at 3 million cubic meters a day, and now it has reached its maximum capacity, of 8 million cubic meters a day.

In order to meet this new demand, expansion work was carried out at the Vandemir Ferreira Station (EVF), in São Francisco do Conde, a new pipeline was built, seven kilometers of piping were replaced, and the company’s premises in Pojuca, where the gas should be processed, underwent improvement.


Research and technological development work will be essential for the exploration of oil and gas in the Subsalt layer. Researchers with the leading Brazilian universities have joined forces in the so-called “Rede Galileu” (Galileu Network), organized, created and sponsored by Petrobras.

The state-controlled company and approximately 20 teaching and research institutions in the country are already involved in the project. Laboratories will be built and various equipments will be purchased. The aim of the Galileu Network is to speed up the garnering of knowledge in the oil production chain.

One of the features that have already been presented is the designing of computer software specifically designed for Subsalt exploration. The program will simulate maritime conditions and all sorts of situations to be faced by the explorers.

Four units have already been installed at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, all of which participate in the Galileu Network. Other universities are also developing projects linked to exploration technology.

Among other issues, research will focus on evaluation for assessment of environmental risk and the development of new materials and structures. Among them is the behavior of platforms, pipelines and cables underneath the sea floor.

Joel dos Santos Guimarães Anba

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