Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its 2020 Brazilian economic growth outlook to 1.9% from 2.2%, and JP Morgan to 1.8% from 1.9%. Observers say the forecast is highly sensitive for President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration. Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and other officials have consistently said the government’s economic reforms and record low interest rates will deliver growth this year comfortably above 2%, with Guedes confident of 2.5%. JP Morgan said investment growth this year will now be lower at 5.0%, while exports will fall 0.5% compared with an earlier forecast of 0.5% expansion.
Real’s relentless decline continued on Thursday, falling below 4.50 per dollar for the first time ever. The Brazilian currency ended trading at new closing low of 4.4750 per dollar, meaning it has depreciated by more than 10% in just two months. Brazil’s central bank dipped into the currency derivatives market on Thursday for the fourth time this month, selling $1 billion of swaps contracts following Wednesday’s $500 million sale to slow or even reverse the real’s fall. Any relief from its interventions this month has so far proven fleeting.
Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras said it has started the sale process for its 51% stake in the gas unit Gaspetro and for its stakes in the Merluza and Lagosta oil fields in Brazil’s Santos basin, according to a securities filing. Gaspetro is a holding company owning stakes in 19 firms that operate in the Brazilian gas distribution business.
Brazilian mining company Vale SA has begun preparations for a potential fuel leak from the damaged iron ore carrier MV Stellar Banner, which is stranded off the Brazilian northern coast with 4,000 tones of fuel aboard. Vale said in a statement it requested Petrobras appropriate ships to deal with the possible leak and has arranged for the dispatch of oceanic buoys to the area. The MV Stellar Banner, owned by South Korea’s Polaris, had only started its trip to China carrying iron ore when it was stranded.
Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry will allow for agrochemicals awaiting regulatory approval to receive licenses automatically, potentially allowing new pesticides to reach market faster, according to new rules published in the government gazette with effect on April 1. If the ministry fails to review applications for new chemicals to be licensed within 60 days, the products will automatically be approved, although they will still need to receive separate approvals by the Health and Environment Ministries before going on the market.
Net profit of bus manufacturer Marcopolo fell 2% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2018, to R$68.5 million ($ 15.3mn). In the year, the net profit of the Brazilian bus manufacturer was R$201.4 million, an increase of 8% compared to 2018. Although the Brazilian bus production increased 9.5% last year, to 25,469 units, that of Marcopolo decreased 4.2%. Domestic market demand grew 20.8% compared to 2018, offsetting the 14.6% drop in exports.
The General Price Index – Market (IGP-M) fell 0.04% in February compared to 0.52% in January, accumulating 6.82% in the last twelve months, the Getulio Vargas Foundation reported. The Broad Producer Price Index (IPA) reversed the trend and fell 0.19% in February, after advancing 0.50% in the previous month. The wholesale cost indicator accumulates an increase of 8.38% in 12 months. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) also slowed and increased 0.21%, from 0.52% in January, and accumulates 3.67% in 12 months.
Stocks and oil prices resumed their fall on Wednesday due to increasing concern over coronavirus spread. On Wall Street, the emerging market stocks lost 1.25%. Brazil’s Bovespa index tumbled 7%, catching up with the selloff after a long carnival holiday, and the same day a first case of coronavirus in the country was confirmed. Argentina’s S&P Merval fell 5.65%. U.S. crude fell 2.38% to $48.71 per barrel and Brent was last at $53.41, down 2.8% on the day.
Brazil tops the list of recipients of agrochemical products classified as “highly dangerous,” accounting for about $3.3 billion in 2018, according to Unearthed, a journalism group funded by Greenpeace UK, and the Swiss NGO Public Eye. “The approval of new pesticides by Brazilian regulators, including those containing HHPs (highly hazardous pesticides), has grown under the governments of Michel Temer and Jair Bolsonaro,” the report says. The pesticides market is dominated by five companies – Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, FMC and Corteva (formerly Dow and DuPont).
Jangada Mines reported each of three drill holes intersecting vanadium titanomagnetite mineralisation at its Pitombeiras project in Brazil. Results included intersecting 38 metres at 0.558% vanadium oxide, 11.31% titanium and 38.40% iron. ‘These initial results continue to underscore the strong prospectivity of our Pitombeiras project,’ chairman Brian McMaster said. At 1:19pm Thursday: [LON:JAN] Jangada Mines Plc Ord Gbp0.0004 share price was -0.15p at 2.2p