The Arab region is the second largest importer of Brazilian dairy products after South America, and successfully imported over USD 15 million worth of product during the first five months of 2017. Dairy companies affiliated with Viva Lácteos – Associação Brasileira de Laticínios earned 30 per cent of their total export revenues from the Arab region during this period. A total of five member companies of Viva Lácteos export to Middle East and North Africa countries, and successfully shipped over 6.521 tons of product to the region during the first five months of the year. Brazilian dairy is exported to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Oman and Tunisia.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have become the largest buyers of Brazilian dairy in the region. Saudi Arabia due to its large population, and the UAE due to its role as a main export hub to other Arab countries. Products being imported from Brazil into the region include milk, cream and condensed milk. Brazilian condensed milk has a highly competitive edge due to the low cost of sugar in the country, while the biggest hurdle to the large sales in Arab countries has been the high cost of Brazilian dairy.
Michel Alaby, CEO of ABCC, said: “The large amount of dairy products shipped to the MENA region from Brazil during the first five months of the year indicates a growing market for Brazilian dairy products in this part of the world. As demand for Brazilian dairy product grows, experts expect to witness even further growth in the market throughout the Arab region over the next few years.”
During the first five months of 2017, Viva Lácteos member companies exported a total of 18,000 tons worldwide, grossing over USD 50.7 million in the process. Countries of the highest priority currently include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Colombia, Bolivia and Russia.
The current year has witnessed some industry players attend Gulfood, the Middle East’s largest food industry show which took place in Dubai last February. Buyers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia also attended the São Paulo Supermarkets Association trade show (Apas Show) in São Paulo last May. Experts have noted a great outlook for these companies.