SAO PAULO- Brazil's exports to the Arab League of nations totaled $14.4 billion last year, according to trade data compiled by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, with a 26% rise from 2020 to the highest since 2013 driven by strong iron ore and food sales.
Overall Brazilian exports of agricultural products rose by 9.5% to $8.9 billion, as demand for soybeans and chicken meat helped offset a drop in sugar and beef sales to the group of 22 countries, the data showed.
Soybean exports jumped 97.5% to $638 million and trading in chicken rose by almost 22% to $2.4 billion.
Iron ore sales jumped some 173% to $3.8 billion in 2021, the single most valuable export to the League.
Even though beef sales fell by 5% to $920.6 million and sugar exports dropped almost 4% to $2.75 billion last year, the data confirms nations including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt as key trading partners of Brazil.
The Arab League also bought $1.04 billion of corn from Brazil, the chamber said.
The strength of Brazilian sales reflects an economic rebound in the Arab League countries, mainly those in the Gulf, during the global pandemic, said Tamer Mansour, the chamber's secretary general.
He noted that while some nations scrambled amid the crisis, there had been a boom in industries such as construction in the region.
"I have no doubt that the economic recovery...was much stronger than in the developed countries of Europe and North America," Mansour said.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +55-11-5644-7704; Mob: +55-119-4470-4529; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))