U.S. and Brazil deepen trade ties

American farmers and food producers have their eyes on Brazil.

Nearly $7 million in sales of U.S. farm products to Brazil are expected through 2018, following the first trade mission of the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service to South America’s largest country. The recent, five-day expedition to Brazil included 22 representatives from both U.S. companies and U.S. farm groups, all of whom met counterparts in the cities of Recife and São Paulo.

“Brazil holds significant untapped market potential for U.S. exporters,” said Mark Slupek, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. “The country’s growing population and rising per-capita income, coupled with the fact that Brazilian consumers have a high regard for U.S. products and brands, make this a market well worth exploring for American exporters.”

Brazil purchased nearly $1.4 billion in agricultural and related products from the U.S. in 2016. Top U.S. exports to Brazil included ethanol, wheat, prepared foods and dairy products.

Poised for growth: U.S. fresh beef. The first shipment from American ranchers arrived in 2017 after a 14-year hiatus.  Brazil barred U.S. beef from coming into the country in 2003, following the discovery of mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in four American cows. The World Organisation for Animal Health rated the risk of that disease in American cattle as “negligible” in 2013, the highest status available.

The United States, the world’s largest beef producer, began exporting American beef to China again in 2017.

Man wearing business suit holding product in grocery store (USDA)
Mark Slupek from the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service tours a Brazilian market chain that sells U.S. food products. (USDA)

Trade missions give businesses opportunities to learn about local markets and build relationships with prospective customers.

“I have found that when individuals and companies want to start exporting to a particular market, they often don’t know how and where to begin,” Slupek said. “This is where we [at the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service] step in to help get the job done.”