According to statistics released to Reuters on Tuesday by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, India beat Brazil in food shipments to the League of Arab States for the first time in 15 years in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted commercial patterns.
Although the Arab world is one of Brazil’s most important trading partners, the country’s remoteness from those markets paid a toll as the pandemic wreaked havoc on global logistics.
According to the report, Brazil imported 8.15 percent of the total agriculture products imported by the 22 League members last year, while India imported 8.25 percent, ending Brazil’s 15-year lead.
Despite remaining competitive “from the farm gate in,” Brazil has lost momentum to India and other exporters like Turkey, the United States, France, and Argentina as old shipping routes have been disrupted.
According to the Chamber, Brazilian shipments to Saudi Arabia that used to take 30 days might now take up to 60 days, but India’s geographic advantages allow it to ship fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains, and meat in as little as a week.
Last year, Brazil’s agricultural exports to the Arab League increased by only 1.4 percent in value to $8.17 billion. According to Chamber figures, sales increased by 5.5 percent from January to October this year, to $6.78 billion, as logistics issues faded.
During the pandemic, China’s attempt to build its own food inventories diverted some of Brazil’s commerce with the Arabs, prompting countries like Saudi Arabia to promote domestic food production while looking for alternate suppliers.
“It’s a turning point. Saudi Arabia is still a major customer, but they are also net food re-exporters “In a statement, the Chamber noted