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India now top food exporter to Arab League countries

For the first time in 15 years, India has surpassed Brazil as the leading food exporter to the League of Arab States.

According to data released on Tuesday by the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, India accounted for 8.25 percent of total agriculture products imported by the 22 Arab League members last year, which was greater than Brazil’s 8.15 percent, ending a 15-year edge for Brazil.

“The Arab world is one of Brazil’s most important trading partners,” according to the research, “but its distance from those markets took its toll when the [Covid-19] pandemic disrupted global logistics.”

According to the chamber, India’s advantage resided in its ability to quickly export food supplies to Arab countries, avoiding global supply chain interruptions caused by pandemics.

According to the Arab-Brazil Chamber of Commerce, India can now export fruits, vegetables, sugar, cereals, and meat to Arab countries in approximately a week, but Brazil’s shipments to Saudi Arabia now take up to 60 days.

Agriculture exports from India increased by over 25% in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, according to official figures from the ministry of commerce. Even though India’s total exports had declined by more than 7%, the growth came.

In 2020-21, agricultural exports increased to $32.5 billion, virtually matching the previous high of $32.7 billion set in 2012-13. Agriculture accounted for more than 11% of overall exports, the highest level on record.