India vs Brazil: For the first time in 15 years, India surpassed Brazil in food exports to the League of Arab States.
This comes as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted trade flows in 2020, as per the data provided by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce.
Arab remains one of Brazil’s most important trade partners. But its distance took its toll when the pandemic came and rattled global logistics.
Brazil accounted for 8.15 per cent of the total agribusiness products imported by the 22 League members last year. India, on the other hand, captured 8.25 per cent of that trade, ending Brazil’s 15-year advantage, as per the data.
Not only to India, but Brazil also lost ground to other exporters namely Turkey, the US, France and Argentina amid a disruption of traditional shipping routes.
The Brazilian shipments to Saudi Arabia that once took 30 days could now take up to 60 days, as per the Chamber.
But India’s geographic advantages allow it to ship fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains and meat in as little as a week.
Brazil’s agricultural exports to the Arab League rose just 1.4 per cent by value to $8.17 billion in 2020. Between January and October this year, sales totalled $6.78 billion, up 5.5 per cent, as logistics problems subsided, shows the Chamber data.
China’s push to boost its own food inventories during the pandemic also diverted some of Brazil’s trade with the Arabs; this led the countries such as Saudi Arabia to step up the promotion of domestic food production while seeking alternative suppliers.
“It’s a turning point. The Saudis are still big buyers, but they are also net re-exporters of food,” said the Chamber in a statement.