With a 35% drop in imports due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil’s trade balance registered a $8.060 billion surplus in July. This is the largest monthly balance ever recorded in the Ministry of Economy’s historical series, which began in 1989. The July result was more than double that of the same month last year, when it was positive at $2.391 billion.
The ANEEL closed July with 119.9 MW released for commercial operation – 84% in wind farms, which reached a total of 3,123.38 MW approved this year in 12 states across the country. The survey also points out that 52 wind power plants are operating under a test regime and that wind projects correspond to 36.9% of the assets under construction in the electrical sector and 29% among the constructions not yet started.
Azul concluded the second quarter with a liquidity position of R$ 2.3 billion ($460 mm), considering cash and equivalents, short-term investments and receivables, up from R$ 2.2 billion ($440 mm) in the quarter ended in March and above the R$ 2 billion ($400 mm) projection for the period.
The French electrician Voltalia reported the start of work on a wind power generation project in Brazil and the closing of an operation to sell renewable energy certificates in the country with Itaú Unibanco. The wind power plant in Rio Grande do Norte, with 59 megawatts of capacity, is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2021, while business with Itaú involved 547,000 clean energy certificates.
Fintech Culttivo, which offers access to credit for coffee producers, has partnered with fund manager Augme Capital to make up to R$ 50 million ($10 mm) available to the platform’s clients. The startup of the financial sector has been operating for two months and has lent R$ 5 million ($1 mm) to coffee growers in southern Minas Gerais, Cerrado Mineiro and São Paulo State.
A study by Facebook to map the effects of the coronavirus on small and medium businesses showed that 47% of SMEs with social networking sites said they had at least a 25% increase in online sales between January and May. The survey also showed that 43% of business owners say they are optimistic about the future of the business. On the other hand, 52% believe that cash flow will be a challenge in the coming months.
The Itaipu hydroelectric dam will increase energy production starting Monday to help the Paraguayan soybean crop flow by water, the plant said. According to a statement from Itaipu, the measure, which will allow the export of 100,000 tons of Paraguayan grain, will remain in effect until Aug. 16.
Eletrobras, a state-owned company, plans to invest R$ 6 billion ($1.2 bn) per year until 2035 in the expansion of its power generation and transmission park, according to a strategic plan announced to the market. But the amount could more than double, to R$12.6 billion ($2.5 bn) per year, if the government’s plans to capitalize and privatize the company are successful.
BNDES will receive an injection of R$ 350 million ($ 70mm) from the Climate Fund, whose resources will be used to finance sanitation projects and solid waste collection. The fund was created in 2009 and allocates resources from the oil activity in the country to sustainable projects that help preserve the climate and reduce the emission of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
In a move similar to what happened in the 1990s and 2000s involving hydroelectric plants, large energy consumers are investing in wind and solar complexes to become self-producers. The sustainable appeal of energy sources each day becomes more relevant in the companies’ strategy of being “greener”. The goal is to have their own plants to supply their demand.