BRASILIA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Insiders from Brazil’s National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock underscored trade relationship with China during a webinar on Tuesday, saying agricultural exports contributed greatly to the Brazilian economy, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
President of the confederation Joao Martins highlighted ties with China — Brazil’s main trading partner and largest market for agricultural exports.
“We are rural producers, and we need to export what we produce; domestic consumption is not enough. Our relationship with China is very good,” Martins said.
He described China as “the leading consumer market,” adding “we are (also) working with other countries, such as Indonesia and Arab countries, which are large consumers of our products.”
Ligia Dutra, the head of international relations of the confederation, said the group is designing a program to help Brazilian agribusiness companies meet Chinese consumer demand.
“Chinese consumers are increasingly demanding. In order for these companies to have concrete backing, we are carrying out a ‘soft landing’ project, with a smooth arrival in China and support at all stages of entering that market,” she said.
Among the top exports are beekeeping products such as honey, propolis and beeswax, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, flowers, coffee and fish, Dutra added.
As the COVID-19 pandemic led to the increase in demand for food on the international market, the Brazilian agribusiness sector is poised to grow 9 percent this year and 3 percent in 2021, Martins said.
“We are living in abnormal times around the world, but the decline in the Brazilian economy was less than we expected, mainly due to the agricultural sector,” Martins said.
The agribusiness group credited the sector’s good performance to the continuity of production and distribution amid the pandemic, as well as the increase in demand.
Domestic demand was supported by emergency financial aid the government provided for low-income households, which amounted to 322 billion reals (about 61.8 billion U.S. dollars), said Bruno Lucchi, the technical superintendent of the confederation.
Another advantage for the sector is that many countries increased food imports during the pandemic, Lucchi added.