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Brazilian agribusiness exports to Middle East down

Staff writer |
Exports from Brazil to the Middle East declined year-on-year in March. According to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, sales to the region fetched $517.7 million, down 4.3% from March 2014.

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Two Arab countries are in the list of top 20 buyers of Brazilian agribusiness products. Saudi Arabia is the highest-ranked Arab country, at the 12th position. In March, sales to the Gulf country reached $134.1 million, up 30.7% from March of last year.

Egypt ranks 20th and second among Arab countries, with $102.6 million in imports, up 5.1% from a year ago. China, United States, Netherlands, Italy and Hong Kong are the top five leading destinations.

Agriculture and livestock products exports from Brazil declined in March. According to the Ministry, exports fetched $7.88 billion, down 1.1% from March 2014. The Ministry said the widespread decline in prices of the main products is affecting the sector's performance.

In March, Brazil's agribusiness imports also dropped, by 0.5% to $1.41 billion. The monthly agribusiness trade surplus was $6.47 billion. In March of last year, there was a $6.55 billion surplus.

Soy bean, bran and oil, meats, forest products, sugar and ethanol, and coffee were the top five agribusiness export product groups last month. Soy bean, bran and oil sales alone grossed $2.81 billion, or 35.6% of total exports from the sector in March.

Asia remains the leading destination for exports, followed by the European Union, Nafta (United States, Canada and Mexico), Africa and the Middle East.

Economic activity in Brazil was up 0.36% in February from January, following a 0.11% decline in January from December 2014. The Brazilian Central Bank's Economic Activity Index (IBC-Br) climbed from 145.50 points in January to 146.03 points in February.

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