Lise Alves – The Rio Times, 07/11/2016
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – If suspended president Dilma Rousseff is impeached from office in August, Brazil’s interim President, Michel Temer, plans to take his first official overseas trip as leader of the country in September to China, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Marcos Pereira announced over the weekend. Temer’s main goal is to boost Brazilian exports to the Asian country, especially of aircrafts and beef.
Last year, during Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to Brazil, the two countries signed investment agreements worth US$53.3 billion to be made by Chinese companies in Brazil in the areas of agribusiness, auto parts, equipment transport, energy, railways, highways, airports, ports, storage and services. Now Temer wants to increase the presence of Brazilian products in China.
Brian Winter – Americas Quarterly, 06/27/2016
Like waves caused by a faraway hurricane, big global events eventually tend to wash up on Latin America’s shores. In the 2000s, the rise of China and its appetite for commodities gave rise to a new Latin American middle class and a “pink tide” of left-leaning leaders who handed out the spoils. In the 1990s, the collapse of the Berlin Wall resulted in the “Washington Consensus” of free-market dogma and the growth of me-too trading blocs such as Mercosur, NAFTA and the Andean Community. And in preceding decades, the Cold War helped foster any number of dictatorships, guerrilla uprisings and midnight coups.
So what will be the fallout from “Brexit,” the rise of Donald Trump, and other manifestations of the new nationalism sweeping Western Europe and the United States? Will Latin America once again serve as a peripheral theater to the convulsions of the rich world? Or has the general prosperity and democratic consolidation of recent years bolstered Latin America’s own center of gravity, giving it the ability to resist – or perhaps even push back against – developments thousands of miles away?
There’s a distinct irony to all of this: The rich world is turning inward at precisely the moment when Latin America feels more open to trade and integration than it has in 20 years. The election of more outward-looking presidents in Argentinaand Peru, and overtures to trade by Brazil’s new interim government, have signaled a shift away from the leftism of the past decade. In broad terms, the region’s Atlantic coast is more actively embracing the trade-friendly ethos that has served the Pacific, Asia-facing countries so well in recent years. The tragic implosion of Venezuela and the opening of Cuba have only accentuated the belief in capitals from Mexico City to Buenos Aires that the future lies with more globalization, rather than less.
Leslie Josephs – The Australian Business Review, 11/13/2014
The sugar market gave investors a buzz yesterday, when news of a surprisingly sharp decline in Brazilian production sent prices to their biggest percentage gain in more than six weeks.
The report, by a Brazilian trade group, rattled investors who had made large bets that sugar prices would decline amid a global glut. Those bets largely hinge on a bumper Brazilian harvest flooding the market with supply. The country produces about a fifth of the world’s sugar.
Brazil’s main sugar growing region experienced its worst drought in decades earlier this year, hurting the development of sugar cane, and dozens of mills closed for the year because of poor weather and low prices, reducing Brazil’s output. But yesterday’s report was even weaker than expected.
Brianna Lee – International Business Times, 10/13/2014
A deepening drought crisis across Brazil is hitting two of the country’s largest exports as coffee prices surged to their highest level in two years and sugar production is headed for a steep decline. The drought affecting Brazil this year is the worst the country has faced in decades, triggering alarm for cities like Sao Paulo, which has instituted emergency measures to cope with a water supply crisis.
The price of Arabica coffee, of which Brazil is the world’s top supplier, soared to a two-year high last week as meteorologists predicted low prospects for rainfall in Brazil’s coffee-producing regions for the rest of October and November.
Brazil joins other Central American countries dealing with coffee crop woes as El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Guatemala have all dealt not only with drought but also coffee rust, a fungus that hit crops and resulted in the loss of more than $1 billion since 2011. Meanwhile, however, Colombian coffee seems to be taking advantage of the situation. Colombia’s coffee output looks set to reach a 20-year high this year.
Alan Bjerga – Bloomberg News, 09/30/2014
The U.S. and Brazil reached a $300 million agreement to resolve a dispute over cotton subsidies that has bedeviled the two nations for more than a decade.
The accord signed today in Washington involves a one-time U.S. payment to the Brazil Cotton Institute in return for that nation dropping all claims against the U.S., the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement. Brazil will also not pursue any new World Trade Organization cotton claims while a five-year farm bill Congress passed in February is in effect.
“Today’s agreement brings to a close a matter which put hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. exports at risk,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The United States and Brazil look forward to building on this significant progress in our bilateral economic relationship.”
Ji Ye (Xinhua) – English.people.cn, 09/09/2014
Brazil needs to develop a strategic vision in order to cooperate with China in a new era, said Marcos Troyjo, a Brazilian economist and co-director of the BRICLab at Columbia University, in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
According to Troyjo, the way China’s economy progressed over past 30 years following thecountry’s reform and opening-up policies is called “China 1.0.”
During that period of time, China took advantage of public-private partnership, cheap workforce and a favorable approach to foreign capital to become the largest manufacturing park in the world. According to Troyjo, China has now entered a new stage, which he calls “China 2.0,” and itshould no longer rely on governmental investment and foreign trade to simulate its economic development.
Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 09/08/2014
Brazil’s real declined the most in emerging markets on speculation voter polls will show increased support for President Dilma Rousseff as she seeks re-election amid a recession and above-target inflation
The real fell 1.1 percent to 2.2675 per U.S. dollar at the close of trade in Sao Paulo, the biggest drop among 24 developing-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Swap rates increased 21 basis points, or 0.21 percentage point, to 11.23 percent on the contract due in January 2020.
The same tracking polls that correctly predicted growing support for opposition candidate Marina Silva are now showing a slight decline in her support, according to a report today by newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. A new poll by CNT/MDA may be released tomorrow and three others could be released this week. Speculation that Rousseff will lose her bid for re-election amid a faltering economy has helped to push the real up 4.2 percent in 2014, the most inemerging markets.
Anthony Boadle and Paul Simao – Reuters, 08/30/2014
Environmentalist Marina Silva unveiled her campaign platform for Brazil’s Oct. 5 presidential election on Friday, boosted by government data that showed the economy had fallen into a recession in the first half of this year.
Following are her main policy proposals aimed at restoring business confidence and investment in Brazil and putting the country on a path to sustainable growth:
ECONOMY: Return to the basic tripod of policies that gave Brazil financial stability a decade and a half ago: fiscal discipline, inflation targeting and a floating exchange rate, ending central bank intervention that has overvalued the real currency.
Brazil’s trade surplus shrank to $760 million in May, down 74 percent from a year ago and the smallest surplus for that month in 11 years, Trade Ministry data showed on Monday.
The result was far below market expectations of a $1.8 billion surplus, according to the median forecast of 16 analysts surveyed by Reuters.
A fall in the prices of key commodities such as soy and crude oil have hampered Brazilian exports while the country’s imports are booming.
Paulo Winterstein – The Wall Street Journal, 03/21/2013
Brazil and China next week could sign an agreement that allows for trade of up to $30 billion to be carried out in local currencies, Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel said Thursday.
The two countries, which are taking part next week in a meeting with fellow BRICS members–an economic bloc consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa–are also in talks to extend the local-currency trade agreement to the entire bloc, Mr. Pimentel said.
Talks with China are the most advanced, he said, as the two countries already signed last year a memorandum of understanding that allowed for the local-currency trade. Next week, they could make permanent the accord, allowing for local-currency trade in the second half of this year, he said.