News from Brazil

Brazil Business & Economy News

In Brazil on July 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

ECONOMY

Brazil’s economy has barely grown since the middle of last year. But somebody apparently forgot to tell the Brazilians. A measure of consumer confidence rose in June to its second-highest level in more than a year, reflecting widespread optimism over the Brazilian economy and individuals’ own job prospects going forward (Reuters).

But economists lowered their forecasts for economic growth in Brazil this year for the tenth straight week, to 1.90 percent from 2.01 percent even as forecasts for inflation rose, a central bank survey of economists showed (Reuters).

After Brazil’s disastrous retail sales data last week, no wonder that some have started to question the country’s supposed “two-speed” model of growth. If the consumer boom is now faltering as well as headline growth, perhaps Brazil is simply destined to be a “no-speed” economy instead? However two studies this week have suggested that Brazil continues to be distinctly bipolar (The Financial Times).

Brazil’s old friend, the commodity market, did offer some brief reprieve from the gloom (Beyond Brics).

DIRECT DATA

Check out the latest economic indicators in English directly at Brazil’s BCB or central bank, the Sao Paulo stock Eechange BM&F Bovespa and Brazil’s statistics institute, IBGE.

SPLIT SECOND POLL

BUSINESS

Telecom Italia’s Brazil unit said late that it will challenge in court a penalty by the country’s telecommunications regulator that suspended its sale of mobile phone plans in 19 states due to complaints over service (Reuters).

AGRI ETC

President Dilma Rousseff and Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Mendes Ribeiro Filho last month launched a new  Agriculture and Livestock Plan for Brazil, which will include R$ 115.2 billion (US$ 55.5 billion) in federal government investments in Brazil’s agriculture business crop over the 2012/2013 season (Portal Brasil).

Abundant rainfall over Brazil’s main center-south sugar cane crop during this dry season risks stranding some of the 2012/13 crop until the next season, leading sugar and ethanol consultancy Datagro said (Reuters).

The amount of sugar waiting to be loaded at main ports in Brazil, the world’s largest producer, climbed 9.5 percent on increased shipments to China, according to shipping agency Williams Servicos Maritimos Ltda (Bloomberg).

The world’s first industrial plant producing bio-fuels from seaweed will be built in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco in late 2013, the official in charge of the project said (MercoPress).

AUTOMOTIVE

Tata Motors is in talks with Brazilian authorities about setting up a plant to assemble Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Freelander four-by-fours. Once assured that it can produce cars in sufficient volume, Jaguar Land Rover will then look at setting up a plant in Brazil, which is on track to become the world’s third-biggest car market (Reuters).

A Brazilian union carried out a 24-hour strike at a General Motors Co factory  to protest dwindling output on an assembly line where workers fear for the future of 1.500 jobs (MercoPress).

AVIATION

Brazil is considering changing the way airport licenses are awarded ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, which will boost tourism in the world’s second-largest emerging market (Bloomberg).

Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) is considering canceling the licenses of at least 95 Brazilian pilots flying international flights. The agency suspects the pilots are not as fluent in English as they state they are (Folha).

BANKING & FINANCE

Lending at Brazil state development bank BNDES unexpectedly rose in the first five months of the year, led by disbursements to infrastructure projects, in an encouraging sign of a looming recovery in investment in Latin America’s largest economy (Reuters).

Losses from Brazilian bank Cruzeiro do Sul have grown to 2.5 billion reais ($1.25 billion), double the central bank’s initial estimate when it seized the mid-sized lender in June on suspicion of fraud (Reuters).

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OIL & GAS

Anadarko Petroleum Corp has put the sale of some of its deepwater assets in Brazil on hold (Reuters).

Petrobras, and partners signed $4.5 billion worth of contracts for the construction of six offshore oil platform, the company said in a securities filing (Reuters).

Chevron Corp. could have avoided a November oil spill of 3,700 barrels into the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil’s coast had it interpreted geological data better and followed industry safety practices more closely, the director of the national oil regulator said (Reuters).

Petrobras, the worst- performing major oil stock this year, is raising fuel prices even as a recession in Europe and slowdown in China reduces revenue at global energy providers (Bloomberg).

POWER

Five of the biggest wind-turbine makers have been shut out of Brazil’s $3.5 billion market by the national development bank BNDES after failing to meet local- content requirements. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Suzlon Energy Ltd. , Siemens AG, Acciona SA and Fuhrlaender AG aren’t getting at least 40 percent of their parts from local suppliers and are no longer eligible for BNDES financing, the country’s only source of loans for turbines (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s government may cut fees levied on power companies and will demand tariffs reductions when renewing concessions that expire in 2015 to reduce energy costs by about 20 percent (Bloomberg).

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