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China becomes leading buyer of Brazil’s farming products

According to a publication from Brazil, 2008 was the year that saw China take over the lead in terms of being the top global importer, a jump from third place, The Netherlands, with nine percent share and the US with 8.7 percent came in third.


January 16, 2009
By Brazzil Mag

Topics

January 16, 2009

In 2008, China assumed the role of leading global importer of products of the Brazilian agribusiness production chain. The shift in the ranking of buyers is due to the fact that the Asian country increased its purchases of Brazilian products by 70 percent. Thus, China alone answered to 11 percent of the sector exports last year.

The figures also show that, in one year's time, China went from the third to the first position in the ranking of leading global buyers of Brazilian agribusiness products.

Last year, agribusiness exports to China totaled US$ 7.93 billion, growth of 69.69 percent in comparison with 2007, when the Chinese bought US$ 4.67 billion in Brazilian agribusiness products.

Despite that growth, Chinese imports are still focused around soy, which, last year, answered to 77.6 percent of Brazilian agribusiness exports to China.

Second in the ranking is the Netherlands, with a nine percent share, and the United States come in third, with 8.7 percent. The bloc of 22 Arab countries was the fourth largest destination for foreign sales by the sector.

The Ministry of Agriculture calls attention to the strong growth (112 percent) in exports to Venezuela, which went from the 15th position in the ranking, in 2007, to the 9th last year.

Foreign trade specialists believe that, due to the global crisis, this year, China should reduce its imports and, therefore, it is unlikely to maintain the same purchase volume from Brazilian agribusiness.

The exporter market is expecting a reduction of 10 to 12 percent of Chinese imports of Brazilian agribusiness products. Still, the Chinese are going to retain the first position in the ranking of leading imports of Brazilian agribusiness products.

In December last year, according to figures disclosed by the Chinese government, total imports by the country saw a 21.3 percent decrease over the same month of 2007. According to the BBC website, in November, a 17.9 percent reduction had already been recorded in November, with total imports of US$ 74.9 billion. The reduction in exports that took place in November had been the first in seven years.

More Biodiesel

The third biodiesel plant of Petrobras Biofuel is beginning start-up operations and should become operational still in January, in the municipality of Montes Claros, Minas Gerais. The plant should deliver 1.5 million liters of biodiesel in the first quarter of 2009.

The production, which has been sold at the 12th biodiesel auction of the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANP), should start within the next few weeks, within the plant's schedule for entry into operation

The implementation of the plant in the municipality of Montes Claros, as well as of the Plants of Candeias, in the state of Bahia, and Quixadá, in Ceará, is in keeping with a program for developing the local agricultural market, which will supply the raw material for biodiesel production.

According to the company, the plants of Candeias and Quixadá have exceeded their production goals last year. The two units ended the year of 2008 with total deliveries of 8.8 million liters of biodiesel to the market, a volume that surpasses the 8 million liters sold at the 10th and 11th ANP biodiesel auctions.

The two plants started operating in October this year, marking the debut of Petrobras in commercial biodiesel manufacturing. After three months, Candeias and Quixadá delivered 4.4 million liters of biodiesel each. Together, the three biodiesel plants have capacity for producing 170 million liters of biodiesel a year.

To see the rest of this article, go to: www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/10513/1/