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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