News from Brazil

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on June 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

ECONOMY

Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru figure among the short list of top ranked developing countries for global retail expansion. In the 10th annual Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), elaborated by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Brazil jumped to first place from number 5 in last year’s study (MercoPress).

Brazil’s central bank raised its key interest rate for a fourth straight time as it seeks to rein in persistent inflation, and indicated more rate increases could be on the way soon. Policymakers voted unanimously to raise the so-called Selic rate to 12.25 percent from 12 percent, a move all 21 economists in a Reuters survey expected.

The increase in imports during the first quarter of this year could indicate Brazil has begun a de-industrialization process, cautioned Jose Augusto de Castro, president of the country’s Foreign Trade Association, AEB (MercoPress).

Brazil is considering cutting a Treasury loan to the state development bank as demand for credit from the lender slows (Bloomberg).

The worst thing about Brazilians taxes – which are the heaviest of any country in the hemisphere – is not the amount of tax paid or how government often misuses them, but rather that Brazilians don’t even know how much tax they pay in the first place (Christian Science Monitor).

AGRI ETC.

Brazil is poised to overtake the United States for the first time ever, as the world’s leading exporter of chicken, with a third of global trade, according to the latest statistics from FAO released this week (MercoPress).

World beef prices look set to stay high long term given the rocketing prices of raising cattle in Brazil, and the lack of an obvious successor as the world’s low-cost producer (MercoPress).

A member of Brazil’s antitrust regulator Cade voted against the merger that created food processor Brasil Foods, triggering a sell-off of the company’s shares that prompted the agency to suspend a vote on the ruling (Reuters).

AVIATION

Venezuela plans to buy up to 20 commercial planes from Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, government officials said, signaling a potential boost to ties between the two countries (Reuters).

Embraer SA, the world’s fourth- largest planemaker, reiterated that it will wait to see what Boeing Co. does in the single-aisle aircraft market before deciding whether to build a 150-seat plane (Bloomberg).

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BIOFUELS

Cut costs, or fade away.  That was the challenge facing Brazilian sugarcane ethanol producers as they gathered for the second day of a major industry conference and debated ways to ensure that the biofuel lives up to its enormous hype in the coming decade (Reuters).

Brazil’s government unveiled new financing and other incentives for sugar cane ethanol production, vowing to work closely with the private sector to boost production in an industry that has struggled recently despite its immense promise (Reuters).

Global energy needs are expected to double in the next three decades, pushing carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming higher by as much as 90%. These alarming figures press global leaders to search for low-carbon, renewable options to supply energy. With that in mind, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA)  launched a new global website – SugarCane.org– to spread the word about clean solutions from sugarcane.

MINING & STEEL

ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, may build a $1 billion steel laminate plant at its Tubarao steel mill in Brazil, Benjamin Baptista Filho, the head of the company’s Brazil operations (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

The Brasil Offshore oil industry event to be held between June 14th and 17th in Macaé is the biggest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere.  The event is expected to draw over 50,000 visitors to the burgeoning oil town situated two hours north of Rio.  The last ten years have seen this biannual show out-grow the city’s enormous convention center, and now overflows into a sprawling temporary tent city (The Rio Times).

The Petrobras Board of Directors has given the go-ahead for the bidding process to award contracts for up to 21 Offshore Drilling Rigs to be built in Brazil, and to meet the Company’s exploratory and production development needs (BW).

OGX Petróleo e Gás, the Brazilian oil and gas company responsible for the largest private-sector exploratory campaign in Brazil, announce details of the Company’s business plan for the Campos and Parnaíba discoveries (EBX).

Brazilian oil and gas start-up HRT, which plans to begin production this year, hopes to achieve output of 1 million barrels per day of oil and gas by 2020, according to Chief Executive Marcio Mello (Reuters).

State-controlled oil companies Venezuela’s PDVSA and Brazil’s Petrobras have agreed to finance a joint refinery project.  The two companies entered a partnership to build the 230,000 barrel-per-day Abreu e Lima refinery in Pernambuco state in northeast Brazil but PDVSA has delayed putting up its 40 percent stake in the project, which is expected to begin operating in 2013 and produce mainly diesel (Reuters).

Petrobras announces two major oil discoveries and a gas discovery in ultradeep Hadrian area waters, in the Keathley Canyon concession, in the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Recoverable volumes are estimated in excess of 700 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Keathley Canyon blocks, among the biggest discoveries made in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade  (BW).

PORTS

The line-up of vessels waiting to load sugar at Brazil’s main ports in the Center South, the country’s main producing region, climbed by 1 ship, data from shipping agency Williams Servicos Maritimos Ltda. showed (Bloomberg).

POWER

Brazilian industrial magnate Eike Batista is considering buying a stake in the Belo Monte dam, a hydroelectric project in the Amazon region that has sparked heavy criticism from environmentalists, two sources told Reuter.

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