Brazil’s Year Surplus Grows to US$ 22.1 Billion

Brazil’s net government debt stood at US$ 327.9 billion (941.3 billion reais) in August, down US$ 1.5 billion (4.4 billion reais) from July’s total of US$ 329.5 billion (945.7 billion reais), according to the monthly report on “Fiscal Policy,” released today by the Economic Department of the Central Bank (BC).

These figures helped bring about a 0.9% reduction in the ratio between net
debt and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Between July and August, the ratio
fell from 55% to 54.1%, well below last December’s ratio of 58.7%.


While the central government registered a surplus of US$ 1.31 billion (3.8
billion reais), regional governments added US$ 557 million (1.6 billion reais),
and public enterprises contributed US$ 1.9 billion (5.5 billion reais). As a
result, the cumulative surplus for the year rose to US$ 22.1 billion (63.7
billion reais), equivalent to 5.8% of the GDP.


Agribusiness


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Brazilian agribusiness should grow
approximately 2.8% this year. Less, therefore, than the economy as a whole,
which financial markets expect to grow 3.8%, and less than the sector’s 6.2%
growth in 2003.


This information came last month from the head of the Foreign Trade
Department of the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture (CNA), Antônio Donizeti
Beraldo.


According to Beraldo, the “slower pace” of agribusiness in 2004 is the
consequence of crop losses, due mainly to climatic factors, and problems with
soybean sales abroad.


Nevertheless, the head of the CNA’s Economic Department, Getúlio Pernambuco,
predicts that this year’s agribusiness surplus will amount to US$ 30 billion.


He bases this projection on the cumulative surplus of US$ 19.44 billion for
the period between January and July, 44% more than the US$ 13.49 billion
registered over the same period last year.


Once again the outstanding export performers are soybeans and meat. While
sales for the soybean complex have already reached US$ 6.5 billion this year,
exports of beef, pork, and chicken totaled US$ 3.3 billion.


Beraldo pointed out, however, that other segments, such as cotton and wheat,
are gaining space in the agricultural sales portfolio.


According to him, sugar and alcohol exports also rose, totaling US$ 1.6
billion through July, 60% more than last year during the same period.


Agência Brasil
Reporter: Stênio Ribeiro

Translator: David Silberstein

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