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Feb 26, 2015

Brazil government extends offer to truckers to end strike

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Brazilian government told truckers and transport companies late Wednesday it would extend a year of free financing for vehicles and pass a law that would benefit the sector if protesters ended a crippling strike now in its eighth day.

It is still unclear whether the late night offer will satisfy the strikers, whose actions have disrupted food and fuel supplies in 10 of Brazil’s 26 states.

Feb 25, 2015

Brazil truckers strike drags on as government talks stall

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Truckers who blocked roads in 10 Brazilian states in an eighth day of protests struggled to find a solution in talks with the government on Wednesday to end a strike that has disrupted food and fuel supplies.

Agriculture Minister Katia Abreu said after a meeting with truckers in Brasilia on Wednesday afternoon that she was confident both sides would reach agreement.

Feb 25, 2015

Brazil truck strike grinds into 2nd week, access to main port cleared

SAO PAULO, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Truckers staged nearly 100
road blocks across Brazil’s farm belt on Wednesday as protests
stretched into their eighth day, though access to the country’s
biggest port was cleared after police clashed with protesters
who had briefly halted traffic there.

The steadily widening blockades have sparked growing fuel
and supply shortages and disrupted the harvest of a record
soybean crop across at least 10 of Brazil’s 26 states.

Feb 7, 2015

Brazil’s Rousseff popularity plunges amid scandal, bad economy

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity has plunged by nearly half since her recent re-election as a severe government corruption scandal, an economic slowdown and surging prices for electricity, gasoline and bus fares left voters feeling misled.

The Datafolha poll of 4,000 people published on Saturday showed those interviewed who rated Rousseff’s performance as “excellent or good” fell to 23 percent from 42 percent in December, just after she won her second term in a tight race.

Feb 2, 2015

Brazil to raise ethanol blend in gasoline to 27 pct on Feb 15

BRASILIA, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Brazil’s struggling sugar and
ethanol mills got more good news on Monday after the government
granted an expected increase in the national blend of the
biofuel in gasoline to 27 percent on Feb. 15 from the current 25
percent, industry officials said.

The higher blend is the latest of several measures taken by
the government expected to have a positive effect on the
industry’s bottom line going forward.

Dec 3, 2014

Brazilian companies cut output, sell power instead in weak economy

SAO PAULO, Dec 3 (Reuters) – In a sign of the distortions
plaguing Brazil’s stagnant economy, a wide range of companies
are sharply cutting back output of their main products to
instead sell electricity back into the national grid because it
is more profitable.

The trend includes sugar, ethanol, steel, aluminum and
chemical companies, a Reuters analysis of company earnings
statements and other guidance shows.

Oct 21, 2014

Brazilian mills tinker with sugar to make it less flammable

SAO PAULO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Brazilian cane mills are
adjusting the way they produce and store sugar to make it less
flammable, industry executives said, after four major warehouse
fires over the past year did millions of dollars of damage at
the world’s largest exporter.

A severe drought that has damaged this year’s cane crop
contributed to the rash of burned sugar, but it is only part of
the problem, executives at the annual Datagro sugar and ethanol
conference in Sao Paulo said Tuesday.

Oct 8, 2014

Global sugar mills retrench as depressed prices take toll

LONDON/SAO PAULO, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Squeezed margins in
sugar mills, caused by depressed prices after years of global
over-supply, are hastening closures and consolidation in the
sector, potentially eroding global output and supporting prices.

The world is eating through a huge overhang of stocks after
four straight years of surpluses that have driven prices of the
sweetener to four-year lows, eroding mills’ financial margins.

Sep 12, 2014

Brazil’s Silva, a lifelong environmentalist, courts big agriculture

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva, an icon of the green movement, is cozying up to old adversaries in the sugar and ethanol industry as she seeks to win over the powerful farm lobby ahead of next month’s election.

Since entering the race in mid-August, Silva has picked a pro-agriculture congressman as her running mate, met repeatedly with agribusiness leaders and campaigned in the farm belt, eager to make allies in an industry that accounts for a quarter of Brazil’s economy.

Aug 28, 2014

Brazil’s coffee farmers balk at investing in crops even as prices rally

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Three years ago, a record surge in arabica prices spurred a wave of investment across coffee plantations in top grower Brazil, as farmers scrambled to fill a supply gap left by Central America after heavy rains damaged crops.

The following year, in 2012, Brazil’s output rose by 19 percent, hitting a record 38 million bags.

    • About Reese

      "I'm a ten-year Reuters commodities reporter in Brazil. The economic coming of age of the emerging markets has elevated the importance of the country's mineral and agricultural potential. After a decade here, I still feel as though I've only scratched the surface in understanding the country's wealth and diversity in commodities markets ranging from soybeans, sugar, coffee and orange juice to iron ore, petroleum and timber."
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