The main dairy products imported by Arab countries included powdered milk, condensed milk, butter and cream. Sales to the region made up 34% of Brazil’s total dairy export sales up to the end of August.
“The year has been exceptionally good for the dairy sector, as countries are beginning to leave the black cloud of recession behind and the consumption scenario is beginning to change,” said Bernhard Smid, foreign promotion and prospecting manager for dairy at the Organisation of Brazilian Cooperatives.
“We see [the Arab world] as a great opportunity,” he added.
The country’s dairy producers and trade agencies are coming to the end of a two-year promotion cycle, focusing on the Middle East. Brazilian dairy representatives have attended the Gulfood trade show in Dubai to launch the “B-Dairy” umbrella brand.
“Looking back, it is clear that there was a very high unmet demand for the products in the region,” said Smid.
Brazil’s egg producers adopted a similar strategy, also launching the “Brazilian Egg” brand at Gulfood this year. Both the country’s egg and dairy marketers plan to exhibit at the show next year as they continue to focus on the region.
Egging on the market
For the first eight months of the year Brazil egg exports to the Middle East totalled US$16.5m, up 28% over the same period in 2013. The region’s status as the largest consumer of Brazilian poultry products made it a natural target for the country’s eggs, according to industry representatives.
“Our main focus in 2015 will be the Middle East, [because the countries in the region] are already major partners of ours in poultry, and have potential to be so in eggs too,” said Ricardo Santin, vice president of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association.
“There is room for us to increase exports to those countries,” he added.
The UAE is the largest Brazilian egg importer in the region at US$10.3m, up 23% year-on-year. The country was also the second-largest importer in the world, after Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia, the second-largest regional market, saw dramatic growth with imports up more than 15 times 2013’s levels, at US$3.3m. Worldwide, it is the fifth-largest market for Brazilian eggs.