EPCA '11: Brazil chemicals producer cheers weaker exchange rate

02 October 2011 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--A recent weakening of the Brazilian real (R) is good news for the local chemical industry because it will help boost exports while slowing the influx of imported material, a producer said on Sunday.

The real weakened by around 15% in recent weeks, pressured by jitters in the global economy and a small drop in interest rates in the country, market sources said.

The Brazilian currency started October trading at R1.88/US dollar, compared with R1.59/US dollar on 31 August.

The strong real has been a struggle for the Brazilian chemical industry because it makes it difficult to compete with cheaper imports, the specialty chemicals producer said on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

Brazilian chemical imports have skyrocketed in 2011, rising by around 30% so far this year, the source said.

Meanwhile, chemical consumption in Brazil has risen by only 6% whereas local chemical production has dropped by 4%, the producer said quoting figures from an industry association in the country.

“We are all hoping the real will continue to trade in the R1.80/dollar range going forward,” the producer said.

Brazil is planning to further reduce interest rates in 2012, according to local media reports on Sunday, which said the government aims to cut rates to at least 9% a year.

Brazil’s central bank in August reduced the country’s base rate by half a percentage point to 12% a year.

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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