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Feb 14, 2014

Brazil’s big cane mills cut costs, capex against losses

SAO PAULO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Weak sugar prices, government
fuel price controls and a year of frost and drought are forcing
Brazil’s listed sugar and ethanol companies to cut costs and
consider layoffs, as earnings reports this week have shown.

Local sugar and ethanol units controlled by Louis Dreyfus
, Cosan, Bunge, Tereos
and others see the cuts as essential, to stem losses until sugar
prices recover from four-year lows and they can limit or reverse
the negative impact of government policies on their
profitability.

Feb 13, 2014

Rains to end Brazil coffee drought, but damage done

SAO PAULO, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Forecasters say widespread
rains will finally enter the southernmost part of Brazil’s
coffee belt on Thursday evening, breaking a six-week dry spell,
but the crop may already have suffered losses of up to 30
percent.

With rains having already begun in the southern grain-
producing state of Rio Grande do Sul, to the south of Brazil’s
coffee belt, coffee futures prices slid in mid-day trade
by nearly 2 percent. After traders first caught wind of
potential damages from the drought in late January, prices had
jumped 23 percent through Wednesday.

Feb 12, 2014

Brazil’s coffee belt grapples with rare threat: dry heat

ESPIRITO SANTO DO PINHAL, Brazil, Feb 12 (Reuters) – In
Brazil’s coffee belt, frost has long been the biggest risk for
farmers and commodities traders alike. But after years of
migrating to warmer regions, farmers here now find themselves
scrambling to overcome an unusual phenomenon: blistering heat.

January was the hottest and driest month on record in much
of southeastern Brazil, punishing crops in the country’s
agricultural heartland and sending commodities prices sharply
higher in global markets. As signs emerged that the world’s
largest coffee crop was withering, futures prices shot up 26
percent over a seven-day stretch to a nine-month high.

Dec 10, 2013

ADM sees 1 mln T grains through Brazil Amazon port in 2014

SAO PAULO, Dec 10 (Reuters) – The Brazilian arm of U.S.
commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co expects to
move 1 million tonnes of soy and corn through its new terminal
at the mouth of the Amazon in 2014, the head of South American
operations said on Tuesday.

The company eventually plans to expand capacity at its
Barcarena terminal outside Brazil’s northern port city of Belem
to handle 6 million tonnes of grain annually, taking pressure
off Brazil’s congested southern export corridors.

Dec 2, 2013

Vale pares investment budget for third straight year

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Vale SA
lowered its investment budget for a third
straight year as the world’s No. 2 mining company bolstered
efforts to focus expansion on its main iron ore business.

Vale said on Monday it had set a 2014 capital spending plan
at $14.8 billion, down 9.2 percent from 2013. About 80 percent
of spending next year will go to develop new iron ore projects
and for rail, port and other logistics needed to move its
products to market.

Dec 2, 2013

Petrobras fuel policy confirms Brazilian ethanol mills’ fears

SAO PAULO, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Petrobras’ move not to adopt a
transparent policy for how it sets domestic fuel prices will
discourage ethanol industry investment as it shows the firm is
still controlled by the government, ethanol industry officials
and analysts said.

Petrobras, which is part state-owned, on Friday said it
would not reveal when or how it would adjust local fuel prices,
essentially carrying on a policy already in place and
disappointing market expectations it would start to disclose
such information.

Oct 30, 2013

Petrobras pitches new fuel pricing scheme as losses mount

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it has asked the government to return to a transparent domestic fuel pricing policy in the wake of the latest quarter of dismal earnings.

Petrobras said in a market filing it has proposed a methodology to its government-controlled board that would automatically adjust domestic diesel and gasoline prices to international prices, without exposing local consumers to the volatility of international price swings.

Oct 27, 2013

Brazilians, Colombians acquire taste for gourmet coffees

SAO PAULO/BOGOTA, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Enticed by espresso and
lured by lattes, more Brazilian and Colombian consumers are
waking up to the aroma of top notch coffees their farmers have
traditionally produced for the caf├ęs and grocery shops of
developed nations.

Trendy chains like Starbucks Corp, brands like Juan
Valdez that represents Colombian growers and in-home espresso
machines marketed by Nestle SA are some of the
pioneers transforming the coffee consumption habits of the two
countries’ combined populations of nearly a quarter billion
people.

Oct 25, 2013

Bunge may struggle to lure suitors for loss-making sugar mills

NEW YORK/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – When Bunge Ltd (BG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bought five sugar mills in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state four years ago for $1.5 billion, they were considered the crown jewels of a burgeoning biofuel industry.

Now, they may be little more than millstones, hard-to-sell assets at a time of crushed margins and weak prices.

Oct 21, 2013

Brazil sugar export space to remain tight after terminal fire

SAO PAULO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – A fire on Friday at
Copersucar’s sugar terminal, the largest in Brazil, means the
company is likely to need to find space elsewhere from which to
export the sweetener next cane season while it rebuilds the
warehouses.

Copersucar lost 180,000 tonnes of sugar, or 10 percent of
Brazil’s monthly exports to the fire. With global markets flush
with a surplus in sugar, the destruction its five warehouses is
a bigger challenge for the company and for sugar importers.

    • 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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