Brazil Industry Has Worst Semester Since 1975

DM factory in Diadema, Brazil In Brazil, the industry grew 0.2% in June when compared to May, the sixth positive rate running. The relative result in the first half of the year, however, shows the worst result since the beginning of the recording of the Monthly Physical Industrial Production Research, in 1975. In the first six months of 2009, the industry accumulated a reduction of 13.4% in comparison with the same period last year.

When compared to June 2008, the reduction was 10.9%, the eighth reduction running. In the 12 months ending in June (the annualized result), industrial production dropped 6.5%. In the second quarter, there was growth of 3.4% when compared to the second quarter of 2008, industrial production dropped 12.3%.

The figures were disclosed this August 3 by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (IBGE). According to the study, between the months of May and June, 13 of the 27 industrial areas registered expansion.

The highlight was the sector of extraction industries, which grew 5.3% in the period. Then came vehicles (2.6%), other chemical products (2.9%) and basic metallurgy (2.0%). The main negative pressures were exerted by the food industry (-5.4%), pharmaceutical (-4.9%) and other transport equipment (-4.4%).

In the same comparison, the IBGE document reveals that there was growth in three of the four categories. Capital goods rose 2.1%, intermediary goods, 0.7%, and consumer goods, 0.4%.

When compared to June 2008, there was a reduction in 22 of the 27 sectors researched. The IBGE technicians pointed out that "this result may largely be explained by the booming terms of comparison, as activity had grown in the first half of 2008."

The main negative impact was exerted by vehicles, which dropped 18.9%. Then came machinery and equipment (-27.4%), basic metallurgy (-22.8%) and electronic material and communications equipment (-34.5%).

Trade Surplus

After having shown signs of recovery in June, the Brazilian trade surplus reached US$ 2.928 billion in July this year, a figure 12% lower than recorded in the same period last year (US$ 3.329 billion), according to the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. In June, the trade surplus had totaled US$ 4.625 billion, the highest since December 2006 (US$ 5.052 billion).

In July, exports totaled US$ 14.143 billion and imports, US$ 11.215 billion. In the fifth week of the month (from the 27th to the 31st), with five business days, the trade surplus was US$ 124 million, the result of US$ 2.631 billion in exports and US$ 2.507 billion in imports.

From January to July, with 145 business days, the Brazilian trade surplus was US$ 16.913 billion, a figure 15.6% higher than recorded in the same period last year (US$ 14.630 billion). Exports in the first seven months this year totaled US$ 84.095 billion, and imports, US$ 67.182 billion.

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