By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian businesses closed millions of dollars worth of contracts during the World Food Moscow in Russia last week after more than 430 meetings with Russian buyers. The negotiations were closed throughout Russia’s largest food, beverage and agribusiness fair and counted on the help of Brazil’s Vice President, Michel Temer, who was in Russia on a trade mission.
According to officials more than US$99 million worth in contracts were signed during the four-day event. “The results were very positive in regards to the increase of business between Brazil and the countries visited,” said a press release given out by Apex-Brasil (Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments) noting that Russia is listed as one of the priority markets for Brazil in its National Export Plan.
The news came as a relief for exporters who sought new trade opportunities to the European country. According to the Brazilian government, there was a twenty percent reduction in sales to Russia this year due to the decline of oil prices and the steep devaluation of the Russian currency, which limited the country’s purchases abroad.
One of the sectors that suffered the most with the Russian export reduction was the Brazilian meat packing exporters. According to Apex-Brazil cattle, pork and poultry meat exports to Russia last year represented 63.5 percent of the total Brazilian exports to Russia last year. Data from Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade shows that Brazil exported a total value of US$3.8 billion to Russia in 2014, while imported US$3 billion from the country.