Brazil has imported almost 335,000 tons of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides in 2019. The volume is 16% higher than in 2018 and is a record for the historical series begun in 1997, according to data from the Ministry of Economy. The growth in imports follows the growth in sales of agrochemicals in the country.
The risk aversion registered in global markets last week also did not spare Brazilian companies listed on B3. They lost R$361.63 billion ($80.4billion) in market value in the three days that the Brazilian stock exchange was open after Carnival, according to a survey by Economatica. Petrobras was the company that lost the most value in the period: it ended last Friday (28) worth R$ 48.8 billion (10.8 billion) less than a week before.
Condemned of money laundering and imprisoned at home, former governor Paulo Maluf transferred funds that came out of public works and ended up in shares of his family’s company, Eucatex. An international collection action by the Municipality of São Paulo to recover about $230 million attributed to Paulo Maluf will result in the auction of almost half of the shares of Eucatex, a flooring and laminates company of the former governor’s family.
The share of the airline sector in shipments and purchases of more expensive goods from other countries has fallen in recent years. A study by the National Industry Confederation (CNI) shows that the percentage of goods transported by planes fell from 18-7% in 2000 to 11.1% in 2018. It is a reflection of the increase in exports of basic products, such as agricultural products, which are exported mainly by sea, but also of the decrease in the sale of industrial goods.
A new study indicates that climate change could devastate coffee production in Brazil. The study’s models show that Brazil’s southeastern mountain areas of Matas de Minas Gerais, as well as Montanhas, do Espírito Santo, will be a lot warmer and drier in 2050. This will mean a 60% reduction in the area that is prime for coffee production. These areas produce over 20% of Brazil’s Arabiga coffee and this could severely impact thousands of livelihoods in a negative way.
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.
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 pesticides market is dominated by five companies – Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, FMC and Corteva (formerly Dow and DuPont).