India on Tuesday surpassed the largest food supplier Brazil in exporting food to the League of Arab nations for the first time in 15 years following the disruption in trade flow due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The data was provided by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce to news agency Reuters.
Brazil was one of the most important trade partners to the Arab nations in the world but its market took a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic when it collapsed the Brazilian market and its routes were shut down for months.
According to the data, 8.15% of the total agribusiness products exported to 22 Arab nations was from Brazil in the last year, whereas 8.25% was exported from India which advanced for the first time in the last 15 years of trade.
Brazil not only fell behind India, but it also lost to other international exporters such as Turkey, the United States, France and Argentina amid a disruption of traditional shipping routes.
Brazilian shipments to Saudi Arabia that once took 30 days could now take up to 60 days, according to the Chamber, whereas India's geographic advantages allow it to ship fruits, vegetables, sugar, grains and meat.
Brazil's agricultural exports to the Arab League rose just 1.4% by value to $8.17 billion last year. Between January and October this year, sales totalled $6.78 billion, up 5.5%, as logistics problems subsided, Chamber data showed.
"It's a turning point. The Saudis are still big buyers, but they are also net re-exporters of food," the Chamber said in a statement.
(with agency inputs)