Severe drought plagues northeast Brazil

July 22, 2013

Associated Press – Al Jazeera, 07/22/2013

Fresh water is among the most urgently needed daily necessities in northeast Brazil, where locals are suffering from a severe drought rarely seen in about 50 years.

Some areas in the drought-stricken northeast region have received no rain in more than one year. More than 400,000 households are facing fresh water shortage.

Water vendors have always been very popular among local residents in Marcolandia, a city in the state of Pernambuco, northeast Brazil. There is no fresh water supply system or water well in the city where people get water from tanks carried by donkeys.

Read more…


Rousseff deepens Brazil power costs cuts as inflation accelerates

January 24, 2013

Raymond Collitt – Bloomberg, 01/23/2013

Brazil will lower energy costs this year more than the government previously announced and made the cuts effective today as part of an effort to slow inflation that has remained above the central bank’s target since August 2010.

“Beyond anticipating the enforcement of the new rates, the cut is bigger than previously announced,” President Dilma Rousseff said in a nationally-televised address yesterday.

The president said the cuts that go into effect today rather than early next month will pare consumers’ power costs 18 percent and those for industry by 32 percent compared to the reductions of 16.2 percent and 28 percent she had announced in September.

Read more…


Rains bring some relief to depleted reservoirs of Brazil’s hydroelectric plants

January 16, 2013

The Washington Post/AP, 01/15/2013

Recent rains have brought some relief to the depleted reservoirs of Brazil’s hydroelectric plants but have done little to dispel concerns over the country’s ability to fulfill its energy demands for the year.

A hotter than usual summer and lack of rain have caused water levels at hydroelectric dams in most of the country to drop to a third of their capacity. The levels are similar to those registered in 2001, when rationing was imposed and blackouts occurred.

The government has said Brazil will not resort to energy rationing because the country has thermal power plants that can be activated.

Read more…


Ghosts of 2001: Brazil worries about another energy crisis

January 10, 2013

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 01/09/2013

Brazil looks less vulnerable today to an energy crisis similar to one in 2001 that cut output at factories, lopped about a percentage point off economic growth, and led millions of people to spend their nights by candlelight.

Still, the risk of a major disruption remains – in part because the South American economic powerhouse has grown so much since then and electricity output has not kept up with soaring demand.

Twelve years ago, Brazil experienced a severe drought that reduced water levels at hydroelectric dams just as is happening today. The solution then was to ration energy supplies for eight months, in large part because the nation relied on such dams for 88 percent of generating capacity.

Read more…


Brazil says no to power rationing

January 10, 2013

The Miami Herald/AP, 01/08/2012

Brazil says it will not resort to energy rationing despite low water levels in the country’s hydroelectric power plants.

The executive secretary of the Mines and Energy Ministry is Marcio Zimmermann and he tells reporters on Tuesday that Brazil will activate generators fueled by natural gas if needed.

A hotter than usual summer and lack of rain have caused water levels at hydroelectric dams in most of the country to drop to a third of their capacity. The levels are similar to those registered in 2001, when rationing was imposed and blackouts occurred.

Read more…


Brazil energy crisis could wreck Rousseff economic agenda

January 9, 2013

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 01/08/2013

President Dilma Rousseff cut short her vacation on Tuesday to deal with a budding energy crisis that could wreck her efforts to restore vitality to Brazil’s economy this year.

Rousseff denies there is any risk of electricity shortages or rationing stemming from a historic drought that has left hydroelectric dams short of water. But some independent analysts disagree, saying it depends on whether summer rains finally arrive in coming weeks.

Even if the worst is avoided, the crisis has already pushed up electricity prices on the spot markets and could torpedo Rousseff’s delicately balanced economic agenda. She is trying to revive an economy that likely grew less than 1 percent last year, while also keeping a lid on inflation now running above 5.7 percent.

Read more…


Worst drought in decades hits Brazil’s northeast

January 4, 2013

Caroline Stauffer – Reuters, 01/04/2013

Brazil’s Northeast is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies in an area prone to blackouts and potentially slowing economic growth in one of the country’s emerging agricultural frontiers.

Lack of rain has hurt corn and cotton crops, left cattle and goats to starve to death in dry pastures and wiped some 30 percent off sugar cane production in the region responsible for 10 percent of Brazil’s cane output.

Thousands of subsistence farmers have seen their livelihoods wither away in recent months as animal carcasses lie abandoned in some areas that have seen almost no rain in two years.

Read more…


Brazil’s corn, ethanol exports surge after U.S. drought

November 2, 2012

Reuters, 11/01/2012

Brazil’s trade ministry said the country’s exports of corn and ethanol rose in October as foreign buyers turned to Brazil after the worst drought in 50 years ravaged U.S. crops.

Sugar and iron ore exports surged in October from a year before as well, as weather at the main ports remained clear and global demand for the raw materials was strong, the ministry said on Thursday.

Brazil harvested a record corn crop of nearly 73 million metric tons (80.47 million tons) this past season, which surpassed its soy output for the first time in a decade. Corn exports last month reached a record 3.66 million metric tons to beat September shipments of 3.14 million and October year-ago exports of 1.52 million.

Read more…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,905 other followers

%d bloggers like this: