Libya is emerging as a favourite destination for Brazilian beef and poultry after a sharp rise in demand since the revolution, but sanctions on Iran remain a concern, producers in Brazil say.
In 2011, Brazil's exports of meat to the Arab world reached $3.55 billion (Dh13.03 billion), a 9.89 per cent increase over 2010, according to the latest figures from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
Meat was the second biggest Brazilian export to the Arab world after sugar.
Brazil is seeing increased demand from Libya as Arab Spring countries look to feed their populations with affordable meat, said Alan Serrrao, a trader at Brazilian beef producer Minerva.
The Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters (ABIEC) has also noted the trend, one representative said. About 35 per cent of Minerva's exports are to the Middle East, an important and growing market.
Iran was the biggest importer in the Middle East of Brazilian beef last year, Serrao said. "But we are not optimistic about 2012. The sanctions are making it difficult," he added.
Egypt is another major client for Brazilian beef, he said, but Brazil faces stiff competition in the region from India's products, which are cheaper.
Minerva also exports its products to Dubai through the LuLu chain and distributors like Alpha and Farmfresh.
The Gulf consumes 30 per cent of Minerva's exports while Lebanon takes 40 per cent. Of Brazil's total beef production, only 30 per cent is exported while the domestic market consumes 70 per cent, according to ABIEC.
(Source: Gulf News)