The total value of Israel’s non-diamond exports reached $34.4 billion in the first three quarters, a 4 percent decrease compared with the corresponding period last year, the Israel Export Institute reported Wednesday.

Amid flagging trade with the US and Europe, there was a noticeable spike in exports toward the BRIC countries.

Sales to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) rose 18% to $2.01b., sales to India rose 12% to $1.08b. and sales to Brazil rose 27% to $900 million.

Exports to Brazil were boosted by approximately 70% growth in the sale of minerals to that market, reaching $345m., according to the Export Institute.

The United States remained by far Israel’s number one export destination, despite a 12% drop in sales to $8.05b.

Sales to Turkey, Germany, Italy and France – all top-10 export destinations for Israel – dropped by 25%, 18%, 15% and 11%, respectively. The Netherlands remained Israel’s fourth-biggest export destination, with sales increasing 5% to $1.69b.

“The center of gravity of Israeli exportation continues to shift from Europe toward the developing economies of Asia and South America,” Israel Export Institute chairman Ramzi Gabai said. He called on the government to expand funding for the marketing of Israeli products abroad and to provide more guarantees for exporters that operate in risky destinations such as Europe.

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