Industrial production fell 1.1% in 2019

After two years of expansion, Brazilian industrial production fell 1.1% in 2019, compared to the previous year, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The extractive industry was the one with the greatest negative influence on the results for 2019, decreasing 9.7%, pressured by the lower production of iron ore after the Brumadinho tragedy.

Bolsonaro asks Congress to prioritise economic agenda

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro sent a message to Congress saying that his legislative priorities for the year are the tax reform, the autonomy of the central bank, Eletrobras privatisation, entry to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), job creation and the enactment of a regulatory framework for public sanitation. Lawmakers returned from the Christmas break focusing on local elections in October, something that can hamper the passage of substantial laws this year.

Meatpackers build up expectations on Chinese market

“ASF, coronavirus and a new outbreak of bird flu influence consumer habits and may drive Chinese demand for Brazilian meat,” said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil’s meat industry association ABPA. The new threat reported on Saturday comes as China has been trying to increase local poultry output to substitute for pork. Last year, Chinese imports of Brazilian chicken rose 34% while its imports of Brazilian pork jumped 61%.

Brazil and US sign nuclear energy cooperation agreements

The Brazilian Association for the Development of Nuclear Activities (ABDAN) and the Nuclear Energy Institute of the United States (NEI) signed a memorandum of understanding during the Brazil-USA Energy Forum in Rio do Janeiro. In the presence of Brazil’s Energy Minister, Bento Albuquerque, and US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, a letter of intent was also signed between Eletronuclear and the US company Westinghouse to extend the life of the Angra I nuclear power plant.

Brazil posts first January trade deficit in five years

Brazil posted a trade deficit of $1.745 billion in January, the first shortfall for the month of January in five years and an indication that trade might continue to be a drag on overall economic growth. The setback was fuelled more by a sharp fall in export, which were 20% down to $14.43 billion from the same month last year, rather than imports, which also fell 1.3% to $16.175 billion, Economy Ministry figures show.

Israeli factory “that draws water from the air” to be built in Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the construction in Brazil of an Israeli factory that draws water from the air, in order to “cope with the lack of water in the northeast, desalination, artesian wells and the São Francisco River.” Technicians and officials of the Brazilian National Water Agency travelled to Israel at the end of last year to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the two countries on water resources, desalination and wastewater management.

Brazil risks losing $2.2bn worth of food exports to Iran

The BRIPAEM block is coordinating the trip of an Argentine trade mission to Iran with the purpose of strengthening agribusiness relations that could affect Brazil’s food exports to the Persian country estimated at $ 2.2 billion in 2019. Iran is the fourth largest importer of Brazilian food. Relations with Tehran became tense after Jair Bolsonaro’s support to Donald Trump’s decision to kill General Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad.

Central bank revises down GDP growth to 2.3% for 2020

The Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) forecast fell from 3.47% last week to 3.40% today in the last Focus Bulletin released by Brazil Central Bank on Monday. For 2021, the rate was maintained at 3.75%. Focus also revised down the estimate for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2.31% to 2.30%. From 2021 to 2023, it was kept at 2.50%. The exchange rate projection was also maintained at R$4.10 at the end of 2020.

USA travellers to Brazil jump 39% with visa waiver

The number of Americans booking flights to Brazil has jumped 39% since Jair Bolsonaro’s government waived a visa requirement for USA citizens in June, according to Embratur President Gilson Machado. With an annual budget that was increased by Bolsonaro to $120 million from $8 million, Embratur is planning to draw more tourists by launching a publicity campaign to sell Brazil as a new and safer country.

Washington ready to help Brazil sell oil zones worth ca. $25.5bn

Donald Trump government is ready to help Brazil design more effective oil auctions, the U.S. secretary of energy Dan Brouillette said during a visit to Rio do Janeiro. In November, Brazil tried unsuccessfully to sell the rights to four offshore oil producing zones in a process that could have fetched some 106.5 billion reais ($25.5 billion) for Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Only two areas attracted bidders, both of which were consortia led by Petrobras.