July 9, 2012
U.S. soft futures were mostly higher during early U.S. morning trade on Monday, with sugar prices firming on the back of concerns over crop conditions in top growers Brazil and India.
Meanwhile, coffee prices edged lower in thin rangebound trade, while cotton prices were higher as investors awaited the release of the USDA’s weekly crop progress report due later in the day.
On the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange, sugar futures for October delivery traded at USD0.2246 a pound, climbing 1%. It earlier rose by as much as 1.5% to trade at a session high of USD0.2250 a pound.
Prices hit a six-week high of USD22.68 a pound on July 5, as concerns that heavy rains in Brazil could damage sugarcane crops in the country’s center-south region boosted sentiment on the sweetener in recent weeks.
Brazil’s top sugar industry group Unica said last week that sugar production in the center-south region in the first half of June came in at 1.37 million tonnes, 32% below the same period last year, as rains “severely hampered” the cane harvest.
June 3, 2011
Associated Press/Bloomberg Businessweek, 06/03/2011
Brazil and Argentina Thursday agreed to expedite import licenses for cars, food and appliances that have accumulated along the borders between the two neighboring countries because of a trade dispute.
The agreement was reached at a meeting between Argentine Minister of Industry Debora Georgi and Brazil’s Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel.
The dispute started after Argentina did away with automatic import licenses and imposed restrictions in February to keep its trade deficit with Brazil from growing.
December 8, 2010
Lex – Financial Times, 12/06/2010
Air conditioners and refrigerators are getting top billing from Brazil’s internet retailers as a sweltering Christmas approaches south of the equator. But the origin of the products points to a critical issue that president-elect Dilma Rousseff must soon confront. Most are imports – to which the red hot economy of Brazil has developed an open addiction.
Rising incomes mean that a growing band of lower-middle class Brazilians can afford consumer goods. The strong real magnifies their purchasing power. In September, Brazil’s imports leapt 43 per cent year-on-year, the biggest jump in any of the world’s 30 biggest economies. It was top in August too, when imports surged 57 per cent.
There is nothing wrong with that, in principle. But the money flowing in to commodity-driven emerging markets such as Brazil is driven by the assumption that they run current account surpluses. By contrast Brazil runs a deficit, which is expanding towards 2.6 per cent of gross domestic product this year and is likely to hit 3.3 per cent by 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund. This is the country’s Achilles heel.