Brazilian businesses are increasingly eyeing China as a growing market for premium food products, Brazil's Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX) has said.
Numerous Brazilian companies are going to showcase premium food products at SIAL China 2016, which runs from May 5 to May 7 in Shanghai and has been touted as "Asia's largest food innovation exhibition," the agency said on Friday.
About half of the companies will be showcasing their products under the APEX aegis, while others will participate independently, said the agency's export manager Christiano Braga.
The South American country will be promoting select products it has been known for, including coffee, processed meats, honey and sparkling wines. The exhibition is going to feature a Brazilian pavilion with cooking demonstrations, including barbecuing meats, and taste tests.
First held in 2000 as an overseas edition of France's International Food Exhibition (SIAL), SIAL China has grown fast.
Braga said SIAL China is important as "a display platform for all of Asia." Brazil has previously attended SIAL Paris, where some Brazilian firms explored potential business opportunities in China.
APEX has two offices in China, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai. Brazil's exports to China are largely iron ore, soy beans, poultry and leather, which together represent 80 percent of the total exports to China.
But China's evolving economy and domestic market are opening up possibilities. Ana Paula Repezza, a manager at APEX, said two factors in China are particularly encouraging for Brazilian producers.
First, China aims to make domestic consumption a more important engine of economic growth. The middle-class population is growing fast and its consumption patterns are increasingly similar to those of Western consumers.
"There is a notable rise in coffee consumption in urban centers, which has led to the doubling of Brazilian coffee exports in barely a year," said Repezza.
Second, China recently changed its family planning policies to allow each couple to have two children, which is expected to increase demand and, in the long run, ensure a larger and more dynamic market.
Repezza said the growth potential is huge.
"In Brazil, the annual consumption is estimated to be 806 cups of coffee per capita. In China, it's 3.4 cups. What's more, global consumption grew by 25.9 percent from 2010 to 2015, while Chinese consumption grew by 44 percent," she said.
Processed meat producers from Brazil have a strong interest in China. Brazil's beef exports to China have rebounded after a ban imposed due to the detection of a mad cow disease case was lifted last year.
"Since the embargo was lifted, China has already become Brazil's leading buyer (of beef), and we have achieved a greater share of the market than before the embargo," she said.
SIAL China is expected to feature 3,000 exhibitors from 67 countries. Brazil is one of 10 countries to have a large pavilion at the trade show.