When Dilma Rousseff emerged from a meeting with Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner last Thursday, saying that Vale would soon reach an agreement over its $6bn Rio Colorado potash project in the country, some feared the worst.
Local media took it as a sign that she wanted the Brazilian miner to stick by the cash-draining mine, which Vale ditched in March after rampant inflation and exchange rate controls doubled the project’s costs. Continue reading »
Not so fast buddy!
Brazilians’ nickname for Argentines is hermanos, or brothers. But when it comes to trade, the two sides are increasingly anything but.
Despite the fact that both countries are in the Mercosur free trade bloc, a poll by the Brazil’s Confederation of National Industry with the Argentine consultancy Abeceb.com found that Brazil export volumes to its neighbour slipped 18 per cent in 2012. Continue reading »
Argentina’s government might as well be humming Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.
After lambasting Vale’s “unilateral” decision to dump a $6bn potash project in Argentina, it seems to be entertaining the idea of stripping Vale of the concession and piloting the project itself, probably bringing in new partners. (Mubadala, an Emirates investment and development has been mentioned in the media as has an unnamed Canadian-Australian company.) Continue reading »
If Latin America was a gated community, Brazil and Argentina would be the neighbours that just cannot get along. Argentina would moan that Brazil keeps parking in its driveway and Brazil would complain that Argentina is building too big a fence around its backyard.
But in the real world of the region’s Mercosur trading bloc, things are a tad more complicated than that. Continue reading »
Brazilian industrialists might desperately want to be bullish on the economic recovery hopes of neighbouring Argentina, given close trade ties between the two neighbours. But should they be?
If Morgan Stanley is right, Argentina’s hard landing this year may have cut almost a fifth off Brazil’s industrial production growth this year as exports to its neighbour plummeted. Continue reading »
The world is used to analysing the impact of China’s slowdown. But what about that of another large emerging economy, whose influence also stretches beyond its borders?
Well, it will come as no surprise that Brazil’s slowdown – from 7.5 per cent in 2010 to 2.7 per cent in 2011 and a forecast 1.5 per cent this year – is hurting neighbours Argentina and Uruguay, where growth generally follows the same cyclical trends. (See chart after jump) Continue reading »
The chips are down. Canadian frozen fries company, McCain, has temporarily halted production at its plant in Balcarce in the province of Buenos Aires. To blame is a simmering trade dispute between Brazil and Argentina that has flared up again this month.
McCain prides itself on being the chip purveyor to Mercosur from its $140m Argentine plant, that can chop, fry, freeze and package 27 tonnes of potatoes an hour. Yet Mercosur’s appetite for free trade has been in doubt for a while. If Brazil, the region’s biggest market, isn’t buying frozen chips, something must be seriously wrong. Continue reading »
“No one in their right minds” will invest in Argentina now, after the government moved to nationalise YPF, expropriating 51 per cent of shares in the Spanish-owned company. That was the view of Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president earlier this week.
And yet four days after Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, announced the YPF swoop, the man she has installed at the helm of the company was in Brasilia talking to Petrobras, the Brazilian state oil company, to drum up new deals together. Continue reading »