Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 4

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64 tobaccoasia / Issue 4, 2015 (September/October) By Kelly Stein The year 2013 is remembered nowadays as the year of records in the Brazilian tobacco industry. It was a great year for the rural population of the countryside, with an annual crop of 624,000 tons, and a terrific year for the city dwellers: the sales topped US$3.240 billion. With such good num- bers, the question was: how to keep it up in the upcoming months? The Brazilian political and economic outlook in the following months wasn't very bright and it reflected straight into the num- bers. The 2014 crop was the least impressive in the previous 10 years (as seen from the chart below). Some 473,000 tons of tobacco was produced last year and sales also shrunk to US$2.459 billion, representing a drop of 24% when compared to the previous year. The internal market was worried, but "…this fall wasn't enough to remove Brazil from the top of world export ranking. We are leaders in exports since 1993," said Iro Schünke, president of Interstate Association of Tobacco In- dustry (Sinditabaco). One of the reasons for the precipitous sales drop is related to the loss of some buying markets: 13 countries did not buy anything from the Bra- zilian production last year. Despite Belgium and Holland's 30% commercial reduction, the Euro- pean Union is still the main destination for Brazil- ian tobacco (42%). China also reduced shipments (-27%), but the biggest loss was registered in the US market (-42%). It could have been even worse if Brazil hadn't entered seven new tobacco buying countries. The balance was partially restored because 96 buying countries kept generating new business for the 162,000 Brazilian producers. With the biggest export market since 1993, Brazil keeps its top position even with a 24% drop in sales in 2014. Brazil: Tobacco Export Powerhouse Buying process *All images courtesy of SindiTabaco

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