“We estimate that there will be continuity in development of milling industry; because every day the consumer is more demanding about the quality and the launch of new products. There is a great room for growth of wheat products consumption in Brazil. It is sufficient to say that the average consumption of bread is annually 33 kg per capita. This is well below the countries of similar socioeconomic conditions to Brazil, such as Argentina and Chile. We hope that in the medium term the flour intake exceeds the natural growth of the population.”
Miller Magazine’s guest for this month is Sergio AMARAL, the President of The Brazilian Association of Wheat Industry (ABITRGIO). In Brazil which has a serious potential in every aspect, and is one of the most important countries of South America, milling and flour industry have been developing every year. AMARAL, the President of ABITRIGO states that there are approximately 200 flour mills and the installed milling capacity is estimated at 18 million to 19 million tons.
Saying that millers invest in new technologies more and more every day, AMARAL points that Brazil has a serious potential in terms of flour industry. Saying “There is great a room for growth of wheat products consumption in Brazil”, Sergio AMARAL states that the average consumption of bread is 33 kg and this is well below the countries of similar socioeconomic conditions to Brazil, such as Argentina and Chile. Mentioning that their aim is to increase this rate, AMARAL answers our Magazine’s questions about Brazilian milling market.
Mr. Amaral, firstly could you please give us some information about your association? How many members do you have and what are your activities as an association in the industry?
As The Brazilian Association of Wheat Industry, we have 46 members. The main activities of our members are focused on industrialization and wheat flours derivatives. As ABITRIGO, we aim to defend the institutional and commercial interests of our members.
Could you please give us some information about Brazilian flour milling industry? What can you say about the number of the mills, milling capacities, technology usage level, and manufactured product groups?
The Brazilian industry of milling wheat has approximately 200 flour mills, of which 73 belong to members of ABITRIGO. The installed milling capacity in our country is estimated at 18 to 19 million tons. The adopted technology level varies, but dominates the latest technology used in the milling industry.
How is the approach of the milling companies towards the new technologies? Is there any Increase in the milling and recent technology investments?
Companies are moving in the new milling technologies with growing investments made constantly, year after year.
Do all of the mills in Brazil perform their production completely for the domestic consumption? Are there any export activities of the mills in your country?
The whole wheat flour production processed by Brazilian mills is sold domestically. Rather ABITRIGO, together with his associates, is developing a wheat flour export project, in partnership with Apex, in order to select countries with potential arising wheat flour imports from Brazil.
What is the level of raw materials (wheat, etc. production) in your country? How much of the raw materials processed in the mills is produced in your country, and how much of it imported? Which countries do you prefer for the imports?
Brazil consumes, on average, 10 million tons of wheat grain per year and the production is around 5 million tons. The Brazilian wheat supply has registered gains in quality, but is insufficient to meet demand for wheat bakery market - requiring high quality product and accounts on average for 50% of the Brazilian demand.
The largest wheat supplier to Brazil is Argentina, benefited from tax breaks through the MERCOSUR agreement. Other wheat suppliers to Brazil are Uruguay, Paraguay, to a lesser extent. United States and Canada are potential suppliers in case of Argentina export deficits in recent years, due to weather problems and the decision of the Argentine government to curb exports to supply the domestic market.
Could you please give us some information about flour consumption amount and consumption culture of Brazil? For instance; For which food products flour is used and how is it consumed?
Wheat flour consumption is around 8 million tons and baking accounts for about 55% of flour consumption. The Brazilian consumer gives preference to fresh breads, freshly baked, crispy, known in Brazil as French bread in units of 50 to 60 grams. Consumption of slow fermentation of bread is awakening Brazilian consumer interest. Besides the bread, the flour is demanded by mass industry, cookies, and for home use.
What do you think about the future development of your country in terms of both the improvement of the milling industry and consumption amounts, and preferences of your country? What are your future expectations about your industry?
We estimate that there will be continuity in development of milling industry; because every day the consumer is more demanding about the quality and the launch of new products. For wheat flour consumption, there is great scope for consumption increases. The ABITRIGO, together with the pasta industry, cookies, breads and industrial craft are promoting a campaign of increased consumption of wheat derivatives. Expectations are good and we hope that in the medium term the flour intake exceeds the natural growth of the population.
What do you think about your position when you compare your country to other countries in South America in terms of potential?
There is great room for growth of wheat products consumption in Brazil. It is sufficient to say that the average consumption of bread is annually 33 kg per capita. This is well below countries of similar socioeconomic conditions to Brazil, such as Argentina (72 kg/year) and Chile (over 90 kg/year).
Especially an association, do you have any projects for your industry que are being Realized right now or will be Realized in the coming years?
The Abitrigo are focusing on different projects in various fronts. In order to promote increased consumption of bread, and to enable bakery teachers about international trends of baking technology, we signed an agreement with the Brazilian Association of Bakery and Confectionery Industry (ABIP) and the International Union of Bakery and Confectionery (UIBC). We aimed at the end consumer. Besides, iwe are developing a campaign to highlight healthful wheat and its derivatives, and to demystify the so called "fad diets" that recommend restricting consumption of gluten and carbohydrates.
Moreover, institutionally performing for a few years, ABITRIGO efforts to promote the integration of all wheat production chain, and promotes every year the International Wheat Congress, which this year will be held in October in the city of Atibaia.