By Andy Sambidge
Trade deals up 3.26% last year as political unrest hits flows in some Arab countries
Trade flow between Brazil and Arab countries reached nearly $26bn in 2012, increasing by 3.26 percent from $25.11bn in the previous year, according to figures released by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Brazil imported $11.10bn worth of goods from Arab countries in 2012, increasing by 11 percent from $9.98bn in 2011, while Brazilian exports to the Arab world totalled $14.83bn last year.
Fuels ($9.11bn) topped the list of goods imported by Brazil from the Arab world, followed by fertilizers ($1.32bn) and salt/sulphur ($180m).
On the other hand, the top Brazilian exports to Arab countries were sugars ($4.24bn), meat ($3.93bn) and ores ($2.44bn), according to the figures.
Michel Alaby, general secretary and CEO of Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, said: "Brazil continues to nurture strong trade relations with the Arab world and this is evident in the sustained growth of trade volume between the two parties over the years.
"Moreover, Brazil and its Arab partners are continuously engaged in multilateral talks to further expand trade activities and explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities across diverse industries.
"It was certainly another solid year overall in 2012 despite a few challenges along the way, and we intend to build on this important breakthrough to further boost economic, cultural and tourism activities between Brazil and the Arab world."
Brazilian imports witnessed an increase from nearly all Arab exporting countries, led by Lebanon (491 percent), Qatar (214 percent), Kuwait (148 percent) and Bahrain (103 percent).
Brazilian exports slightly declined by nearly 2 percent from $15.13bn in 2011 as a result of political instability in some Arab countries.
Nonetheless, there was a significant increase in exports to several other Arab countries, including Oman (35.73 percent), Yemen (38.37 percent), the UAE (13.26 percent) and Egypt (3.35 percent).