Saudi Arabia raising soybean and corn imports from Brazil

Updated 29 October 2012
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Saudi Arabia raising soybean and corn imports from Brazil

JEDDAH: BrazArtis, an import-export company based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is set to expand its soybean and corn exports to the Middle East, a move that is aligned with growing Brazilian grain harvest and exports.
Driven by soybean and corn production, Brazilian grain harvest is estimated to exceed 180 million tons from 170 million last year.
The soybean harvest alone for 2012/13 is set to increase by 20 percent and reach 81 million tons, from 66 million last year.
Ranked as the second agricultural commodity export from Brazil, maize production is set to increase by 7 percent from 66 million tons to 70 million tons.
In the period of January to August of this year, Egypt has increased its purchases of maize by 899.4 percent, from 90,310 tons in 2011 to 902,550 tons in 2012, according to Scot Consultoria.
Saudi Arabia has increased its purchases of corn from 159,770 to 402,190 tons in the same period, an increase of 151.7 percent.
Jan Dabrowa, business development director at BrazArtis, said: “The value of the Brazilian agribusiness has reached a peak, and it is set to reach $ 100 billion in 2012. Current exports of oilseeds are being fueled by changing market dynamics that have set the stage for another successful harvest in 2013. In light of the decreased exports by Argentina and unfavorable weather conditions that affected the US crops, Brazil took up a leadership role as one of the main producer and exporter of soybeans and corn.”
On another hand, corn exports to Iran decreased by 26.9 percent from 951,890 to 695,620 metric tons, but the country still stands as one of the leading importers of Brazilian corn in the region.
The exports of soybeans in 2012 are set to reach 17.5 million tons, a 20 percent boost from 2011.
In 2013, a provision for 10 percent increase in planting and 11 percent improvement in average productivity should result in 27.5 million acres planted and potential harvest of 81 million tons of grain.
Around 48 percent of the total production, equivalent to 39 million tons of oilseed will be destined for export.
It is projected by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture that the agribusiness exports will reach a record of $ 100 billion in 2012. In 2010 Brazilian agricultural exports surpassed $ 76.4 billion worldwide, an 18 percent increase from 2009.
They reached a new record in 2011 by totaling $ 94.59 billion, 24 percent higher than in 2010.
Brazil’s exports span across the whole GCC region including the Kingdom, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Oman.


Indonesia’s Go-Jek close to profits in all segments

Updated 18 August 2018
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Indonesia’s Go-Jek close to profits in all segments

  • Go-Jek is Indonesia's first billio-dollar startup
  • Ride haling app evolves into online payment platform

JAKARTA: Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first billion-dollar startup, is “extremely close” to achieving profitability in all its segments, except transportation, its founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim told Reuters.

Launched in 2011 in Jakarta, Go-Jek — a play on the local word for motorbike taxis — has evolved from a ride-hailing service to a one-stop app allowing clients in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to make online payments and order everything from food, groceries to massages.

“We’re seeing enormous online to offline traction for all of our businesses and are close to being profitable, outside of transportation,” said the 34-year old CEO.
The startup is expected to be fully profitable “probably” within the next few years, Makarim added.

Already a market leader in Indonesia, where it processes more than 100 million transactions for its 20-25 million monthly users, Go-Jek is now looking to expand in Southeast Asia.

Ride hailing services in Southeast Asia are expected to surge to $20.1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2025 from $5.1 billion in 2017, according to a Google-Temasek report.

Go-Jek said in May it would invest $500 million to enter Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, after Uber struck a deal to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab — the bigger player in the region.

Go-Jek is seeing strong funding interest from its backers as it targets an aggressive expansion, Makarim said.

“Since its Aug. 1 launch, the app has already grabbed 15 percent of market share in Ho Chi Minh,” Makarim said. The firm this week opened recruitment for motorcycle drivers in Thailand.

The startup expects anti-monopoly concerns swirling around the Grab-Uber deal, which Singapore said had substantially hurt competition, to help clear a path for its expansion.

“We’re bringing back choice. The Singapore government is particularly eager to bring back competition,” Makarim said, adding that the order of overseas rollouts had not been set.

Go-Jek’s offshore push comes at a time when Singapore-based Grab is stepping up funding to expand in Indonesia and transform itself into a consumer technology company, starting with a partnership with online grocer HappyFresh.

“Mimicking Go-Jek’s strategy is the highest form of flattery,” laughed Makarim.

Grab told Reuters in a statement, “The super app strategy has been around for a while now and no Southeast Asian player can claim to have pioneered it.” The company also said Grab has not lost market share in Ho Chi Minh since August, but declined to provide market share data.

Makarim believes Go-Jek’s understanding of food merchants will give it an edge over Grab, which counts investors such as Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. among its backers.

Makarim, who sees food delivery as Go-Jek’s core business, said he was not concerned about funding, without giving details.

Go-Jek was reported in June as being in talks to raise $1.5 billion in a new funding round and was valued at about $5 billion in a prior fundraising, sources have told Reuters. The firm had said in March it was considering a domestic IPO.

Makarim noted Go-Jek’s backers were sharing both capital and expertise. The company is collaborating with Alphabet Inc’s Google on platform mobility, Tencent on payments strategy, JD.com on logistics operations, and Meituan Dianping on merchant transactions and deliveries.

Go-Jek has set up a venture capital arm, Go-Ventures, to invest in startups in Southeast Asia “with strategic importance to our business,” the CEO said.