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The Port of Houston has become the largest U.S. port for container trade with Brazil, new statistics show.


The Port of Houston Authority handled a total of 91,204 twenty-foot-equivalent-units from Brazil in 2009, statistics compiled by the firm Datamar show.This represents a gain in market share of total U.S./Brazil container trade from 15.4 percent in 2006 to 19.5 percent in 2009. The change is significant, particularly since Brazil is South America’s largest country and an economic powerhouse for the entire region.

The Port of Houston’s position as a leader in exports is solid. In 2009, Houston had a market share of 26.8 percent in terms of U.S. containerized export TEU’s to Brazil. A dedicated office was established by the Port of Houston Authority in Brazil in 2006, as the country was more and more becoming a growth market for PHA. Previously, the marketing targeting Brazil was handled regionally.

“Since we have had a fixed presence, we have been able to make a big difference,” said Ricky Kunz, vice president, Origination. A large part of the increase is due to additional U.S. goods such as synthetic resins being exported out of Houston. PHA officials anticipate additional growth with the ongoing expansion of the oil and gas and civil construction sectors in Brazil.

The Houston region now is Brazil’s largest trading district, with machine parts, motor cars, mineral fuels and chemicals among the chief imports and exports. Brazil also has a huge energy sector featuring both traditional and alternative energy, including oil and gas, offshore, bio-fuels and wind.

The annual Harris County Trade and Transportation Conference held in late January highlighted Brazil, a country local officials described as a natural trading partner because of its robust oil and gas and energy industry, especially São Paulo.

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