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Global Concentrated Orange Juice Market – Brazil Strengthened Its Position as the World’s Leading Exporter

orange juice

Global Concentrated Orange Juice Market – Brazil Strengthened Its Position as the World’s Leading Exporter

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Concentrated Orange Juice – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global concentrated orange juice market revenue amounted to $4B in 2018, growing by 6.1% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% from 2008 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The global concentrated orange juice market peaked in 2018 and is likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Consumption By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of concentrated orange juice consumption in 2018 were Brazil (674K tonnes), the U.S. (656K tonnes) and France (141K tonnes), with a combined 62% share of global consumption. The UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Ireland lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 18%.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of concentrated orange juice consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Japan, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the U.S. ($1.4B), Brazil ($1.1B) and France ($218M) were the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2018, together accounting for 69% of the global market. These countries were followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan, the UK, Ireland and Spain, which together accounted for a further 16%.

The countries with the highest levels of concentrated orange juice per capita consumption in 2018 were Belgium (8,445 kg per 1000 persons), Ireland (7,486 kg per 1000 persons) and the Netherlands (5,039 kg per 1000 persons).

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of concentrated orange juice per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Japan, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by rising demand for concentrated orange juice worldwide, the market is expected to start an upward consumption trend over the next seven years. The performance of the market is forecast to increase slightly, with an anticipated CAGR of +0.6% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 2.5M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production 2007-2018

In 2018, the amount of concentrated orange juice produced worldwide totaled 2.2M tonnes, rising by 6% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% over the period from 2008 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 with an increase of 8.3% against the previous year. Over the period under review, global concentrated orange juice production reached its peak figure volume in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, concentrated orange juice production amounted to $3.4B in 2018 estimated in export prices. In general, the total output indicated a perceptible expansion from 2008 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% over the last decade. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, concentrated orange juice production increased by +19.1% against 2016 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2012 when production volume increased by 53% against the previous year. Over the period under review, global concentrated orange juice production reached its maximum level at $3.5B in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Production By Country

Brazil (1.1M tonnes) constituted the country with the largest volume of concentrated orange juice production, accounting for 49% of total production. Moreover, concentrated orange juice production in Brazil exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second-largest producer, the U.S. (413K tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Mexico (137K tonnes), with a 6.4% share.

In Brazil, concentrated orange juice production expanded at an average annual rate of +3.1% over the period from 2008-2018. The remaining producing countries recorded the following average annual rates of production growth: the U.S. (+0.7% per year) and Mexico (+16.9% per year).

Exports 2007-2018

Global exports totaled 1.3M tonnes in 2018, growing by 16% against the previous year. In general, concentrated orange juice exports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2018 when exports increased by 16% y-o-y. Over the period under review, global concentrated orange juice exports attained their peak figure at 1.6M tonnes in 2009; however, from 2010 to 2018, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, concentrated orange juice exports amounted to $2B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, concentrated orange juice exports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2010 when exports increased by 11% y-o-y. The global exports peaked at $2.3B in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

Exports by Country

Brazil was the largest exporting country with an export of about 381K tonnes, which amounted to 30% of total exports. Belgium (146K tonnes) occupied a 12% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by the Netherlands (12%), Mexico (11%), Costa Rica (9.4%) and Germany (5.2%). The following exporters – Spain (31K tonnes), South Africa (25K tonnes), the UK (22K tonnes), Thailand (20K tonnes) and the U.S. (20K tonnes) – each finished at a 9.4% share of total exports.

From 2008 to 2018, average annual rates of growth with regard to concentrated orange juice exports from Brazil stood at +1.1%. At the same time, Mexico (+29.4%), Costa Rica (+16.4%), South Africa (+9.4%), the UK (+7.3%) and Thailand (+1.6%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Mexico emerged as the fastest-growing exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +29.4% from 2008-2018. By contrast, the Netherlands (-1.4%), Germany (-4.0%), the U.S. (-4.0%), Spain (-6.6%) and Belgium (-9.5%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2008 to 2018, the share of Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil increased by +9.9%, +7.4% and +3% percentage points, while the Netherlands (-1.7 p.p.), Spain (-2.5 p.p.), Germany (-2.6 p.p.) and Belgium (-19.9 p.p.) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the largest concentrated orange juice markets worldwide were Brazil ($706M), Belgium ($418M) and the Netherlands ($358M), together accounting for 74% of global exports. Germany, Costa Rica, Mexico, the U.S., Spain, South Africa, the UK and Thailand lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 18%.

Mexico recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, among the main exporting countries over the last decade, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average concentrated orange juice export price stood at $1,593 per tonne in 2018, declining by -6.4% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the concentrated orange juice export price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2011 an increase of 28% year-to-year. In that year, the average export prices for concentrated orange juice attained their peak level of $1,744 per tonne. From 2012 to 2018, the growth in terms of the average export prices for concentrated orange juice remained at a lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Belgium ($2,855 per tonne), while Mexico ($418 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Belgium, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports 2007-2018

In 2018, approx. 1.5M tonnes of concentrated orange juice were imported worldwide; jumping by 17% against the previous year. Over the period under review, concentrated orange juice imports, however, continue to indicate a measured deduction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 when imports increased by 17% year-to-year. Over the period under review, global concentrated orange juice imports attained their maximum at 2M tonnes in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, concentrated orange juice imports stood at $2.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, concentrated orange juice imports, however, continue to indicate a measured drop. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2011 with an increase of 23% against the previous year. The global imports peaked at $2.8B in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

The countries with the highest levels of concentrated orange juice imports in 2018 were the U.S. (263K tonnes), the Netherlands (231K tonnes), Belgium (190K tonnes), France (142K tonnes), the UK (122K tonnes) and Germany (101K tonnes), together amounting to 71% of total import. The following importers – Japan (51K tonnes), Spain (44K tonnes), Ireland (41K tonnes) and Poland (35K tonnes) – together made up 11% of total imports.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Japan, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the Netherlands ($471M), Belgium ($347M) and Germany ($227M) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 46% share of global imports. These countries were followed by the UK, France, the U.S., Japan, Spain, Poland and Ireland, which together accounted for a further 37%.

Among the main importing countries, Japan experienced the highest growth rate of imports, over the last decade, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average concentrated orange juice import price amounted to $1,523 per tonne, coming down by -6.1% against the previous year. In general, the concentrated orange juice import price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when the average import price increased by 28% against the previous year. In that year, the average import prices for concentrated orange juice attained their peak level of $1,625 per tonne. From 2012 to 2018, the growth in terms of the average import prices for concentrated orange juice failed to regain its momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Spain ($2,496 per tonne), while the U.S. ($450 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Spain, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

brazil

Comparative Advantage Revealed: What the U.S. Could Gain from an FTA with Brazil

Olá Brasil!

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced their desire to “build a new partnership” after meeting in August, potentially through a bilateral free trade agreement. For the time being, the United States and Brazil are starting with some pragmatic approaches, for example by streamlining customs procedures, agreeing on safety standards for Brazil to import U.S. pork and beef, increased imports of U.S. ethanol, and possible ways to expand energy trade.

But Brazil would be a good target for a full U.S. free trade agreement. It is by far the largest South American economy. With total two-way trade reaching $103.9 billion in 2018, Brazil is our ninth-largest export market. Beyond any political merits or challenges, the potential commercial benefits can be shown through textbook economics.

Two-way trade between the US and brazil totaled 103.9 billion in 2018

“Revealed” Comparative Advantage

In a 1965 paper entitled Trade Liberalisation and “Revealed” Comparative Advantage, economist Bela Balassa developed an index for identifying where the comparative advantage of industrial countries lay in regard to their trade with one another.

Comparative advantage basically means one country can produce a particular good at a lower opportunity cost than another, which doesn’t necessarily mean at a lower absolute cost. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) index is a useful tool that cuts out the laborious work of trying to assess all the factors that might determine comparative advantage but still captures relative costs and differences in non-price factors. Here’s how it works.

The Power of One

A country’s RCA in a certain class of goods is calculated by dividing the proportion of the country’s exports in that class by the proportion of world exports in that class. If the resulting RCA is greater than one, then a comparative advantage has been discovered. If it is less than one, the country is said to have a comparative disadvantage in that class of good.

The RCA is therefore useful in identifying areas where large gains from trade are possible but currently untapped. If one country’s RCA in a product is below one and another’s is above one this may be a potentially lucrative pairing.

Furthermore, if the country whose RCA is below one has either tariff or non-tariff barriers on that good and is importing from an inefficient source or producing for its own consumption, there is even greater potential for benefit.

The U.S.-Brazil Trade Relationship Revealed

Applying the RCA method to the U.S.-Brazil trading relationship in 20 sectors, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the United States and Brazil are complementary in 11 of them. There are only three categories in which both countries have RCAs higher than one, in which they would compete head to head.

For Brazil, export gains could be made in minerals, animals, food products, hides and skins, metals and raw materials such as alloys and iron ores, all sectors where Brazil has a high revealed comparative advantage compared to the United States. The United States has a revealed comparative advantage in exporting capital goods, chemicals, miscellaneous goods, plastics, rubber and transportation.

US-Brazil revealed competitive advantage RCA

Classic Trade: More Sales and More Savings

When it comes to importing raw materials from Brazil, the United States already has zero or low tariff rates in most categories, but there are some products where demand is high, but tariffs remain, creating opportunities for savings for U.S. consumers. For example, U.S. tariffs on building materials such as cut stone and shaped wood range from 3.2 to 4.9 percent. The United States does not have a comparative advantage in these materials and currently imports 24 percent of its building stone and 30 percent of its shaped wood needs from Brazil.

Tariff savings may also shift consumer purchases in Brazil’s favour. For example, Brazil enjoys a comparative advantage over the United States in coffee (we don’t produce it except some specialty in Hawaii). At present, 50 percent of U.S. imported coffee comes from countries we have an FTA with including Colombia and Guatemala, so Brazil would be well poised to increase its share of U.S. coffee imports under an FTA.

The products the United States has a revealed comparative advantage in compared to Brazil are more diverse, from capital goods to chemicals. Brazil’s lowest weighted average tariff among the good represented on the chart is 6.24 percent for chemicals; the highest is 21.01 percent in transportation. Reducing tariffs on U.S. industrial and agricultural goods would benefit both Brazilian importers and U.S. exporters.

A U.S.-Brazil FTA Could Be Positive

Overall, these numbers suggest a high complementarity in revealed comparative advantages between the United States and Brazil such that removing barriers to cross border trade in goods and services between the United States and Brazil has the potential yield gains for both sides, with increased trade flows both ways.

If only negotiating a trade agreement were as easy as following the numbers. The United States has a number of pension and tax reforms it would like Brazil to enact before getting serious about an FTA, and Brazil is a member of MERCOSUR, a South American trading bloc that precludes members from negotiating tariffs on an individual country basis. And so, the two countries will continue to nibble at the margins of an agreement, achieving “free-er” trade where possible, but when they are ready, the comparative advantages are now revealed.

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Alice Calder

Alice Calder is a program manager at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Prior to this she worked as a graduate research assistant while pursuing her MA in Applied Economics at GMU. Originally from the UK, where she received her BA in Philosophy and Political Economy from the University of Exeter, living and working internationally sparked her interest in trade issues as well as the intersection of economics and culture.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

brazilian

New Challenges for Brazilian Markets

Usually, when we talk about Latin America one of the first markets that come to mind is Brazil.

Brazil is experiencing a unique moment never experienced before in the local economy: the lowest level of interest rate and, therefore, a large demand from investors for assets that could generate a considerable performance, in the period.

Historically, the Brazilians Investor Profile has been strongly related to a conservative shape, once the Selic rate – the country’s basic interest rate – has constantly been at comfortable levels for those people who invest in conservative products, such as Savings and Certificates of Deposit, for example. Nonetheless, this perspective has been changing since the end of 2016 with the consecutive action from the ‘Comitê de Política Monetária’ (known as COPOM – very similar to the US FOMC) in reducing the interest rate, and proportionately seeking to promote the local economy. In addition, this domestic reduction is being quite influenced by the US Federal Reserve process of cutting rates.

It is possible to observe the interest yield curve below:

For this reason, financial institutions and brokerage firms are working hard on clients ‘financial education and portfolio reformulation, in order to adapt their clients’ investment portfolio to this new stage of Brazilian Market. Most analysts and advisors are aligned and agree with the Central Bank’s official reports, betting on new interest rate cuts for 2019 and, as a result, it benefits other types of asset classes, such as the Brazilian Stock Market.

Regarding that, the Ibovespa (Índice da Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo), the main indicator of the average performance from the Brazilian stock market, at the beginning of 2019 was quoted at approximately 91,000 points and until the last day of September it had an evolution of around 15% reaching its 103,600 points, with a standard deviation of, approximately, 20%. The Index has now reached record levels. Typically, with the movement of diminishing interest rates, as any other economy, there is a natural increase in demand for this type of assets, which takes a favorable and positive aspect of the segment this year, specifically given the Pension Reform approvals and lower projections for the IPCA (Índice de Preços ao Consumidor Amplo) – Brazilian official inflation index.

The latest statistic released showed 2.89% in the 12 months through September, according to IBGE – Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian government statistics agency). The Central Bank’s official year-end goal for 2019 remains 4.25%, and due to this fall in inflation expectations most economists consent to another 50 basis point cut in the Selic rate at the end of this month – precisely, the next reunion will happen in 10/29/2019 and 10/30/2019.

Essentially, for the local investor, there are several alternatives to access this market, such as Equities Funds, ETFs or Active Mutual Funds. Furthermore, the whole market is gradually seeing an increase in fundraising this type of product, this is very clear if we look through the development of new asset management firms, for instance. Consequently, the biggest challenge for the investor is to adapt themselves to this relatively new type of culture in diversifying the portfolio with risky and volatile products.

quotas

Are Quotas Worse Than Tariffs?

Quotas Return

With all the focus on tariffs these days, it is easy to overlook the return of another tool used to limit imports: quotas.

Over a year ago, the Trump Administration used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose 25 percent tariffs on specified steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on specified aluminum imports. Three countries – South Korea, Brazil and Argentina – made agreements with the United States to apply quotas to their steel exports in lieu of the Section 232 tariffs. Argentina also agreed to quotas on its aluminum exports.

According to numerous reports, U.S. negotiators were seeking similar agreements with Canada, Mexico, Japan and the European Union (EU). In May 2019, however, the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico announced that they had reached a deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs without imposing quotas, choosing instead to adopt a monitoring system with the right to re-impose tariffs on these products if surges are detected in the future. This deal could be a template for agreements with Japan and the EU to address their steel and aluminum tariffs.

In ongoing Section 232 investigations, the administration is keeping quotas on the table in other sectors including autos and auto parts, uranium ore and titanium sponges.

The Difference between Quotas and Tariffs

Quotas and tariffs are both used to protect domestic industries by artificially raising prices in the domestic market. Their administration and effects, however, differ in specific ways. Quotas restrict the quantity of a good imported from another country. Tariffs are a charge levied on the value of goods imported from another country.

While tariffs generate revenue that is paid to the importing country’s treasury, the value of a quota, also called “quota rents,” generally goes to the foreign exporters who are able to sell goods subject to the quota at higher prices and collect higher per unit revenue. In both cases, domestic consumers in the importing country pay the costs of tariffs and quota rents. But with quotas, the government of the importing country receives no revenue.

Quotas can be much more complicated to administer than tariffs. Tariffs are collected by a customs authority as goods enter a country. With quotas, customs authorities must either monitor imports directly to ensure that no goods above the quota amount are imported, or can award licenses to specific companies, giving them the right to import the amount allowed under the quota. Quotas can also take the form of a voluntary export restraint (VER), where the exporting country administers the quota.

The Cost of Quotas

Costs and pricing under a tariff regime are more transparent and predictable compared to quotas. For example, if a good is subject to a 10 percent tariff, then the good should cost about 10 percent more than it did before the tariff was imposed. With a quota, the price of that same good can increase as long as demand for the good continues and the supply remains constrained. This can mean that quota rents are ultimately more costly to domestic consumers than a tariff. In this way, quota regimes may incentivize foreign producers to upgrade the quality of their exports, leading to more direct competition with domestic producers and a higher-price product mix for consumers.

On the other hand, if foreign producers export low-quality goods under a quota regime, prices and profits for both foreign and domestic producers of low-quality goods will rise because of quotas, while domestic consumers were forced to pay more for lower quality goods.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) prohibits quotas and other quantitative restrictions under Article XI (with specific exceptions including for “security reasons”) as the GATT parties agreed that quantitative restrictions were overly restrictive and distortive compared to duties or taxes, where are permitted.

Tricky to Administer

In the case of South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina and Section 232 quotas, each country agreed to product-specific absolute quotas on 54 separate steel articles based on each country’s average annual import volumes of steel from 2015 through 2017. Argentina also accepted product specific absolute quotas on two aluminum product categories.

Steel quotas under Section 232- South Korea, Brazil and Argentina

These quotas are administered by the United States to give exporters the least possible flexibility and demonstrate how complicated quota regimes can be. Some of the quotas are absolute – once the quota is reached, no additional amount can enter the United States for any price, unless an exclusion is granted. Some quotas apply to the full calendar year (but in practice may fill the minute the quota takes effect), and others are subject to quarterly limitations. Once a quota is filled in a given quarter, importers must wait until the next quarter until they can bring the product into the United States.

The True Cost in Practice

For South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina, quotas have reduced export volumes and revenue. According to U.S. Department of Commerce data, the overall quantity of steel South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina exported to the United States in 2018 dropped significantly compared to 2017, by 26.2 percent, 14.6 percent, and 20.1 percent, respectively.

In terms of value, South Korea and Argentina’s steel exports subject to quotas dropped by $430 million and $1 million, respectively, from 2017 to 2018, while the value of Brazil’s steel exports under the quota increased by nearly $145 million in 2018. Argentina’s aluminum exports subject to the quota dropped by approximately 86.8 million kilograms from 2017 to 2018, by 32.8 percent, with a decrease in value of approximately $101 million, according to data from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Although South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina have benefitted from generally higher prices in the United States for steel and aluminum, so far, the quotas are effectively reducing U.S. imports from these countries.

US imports of steel mill products- South Korea, Brazil and Argentina

Upsides for U.S. Steel Producers

For U.S. steel and primary aluminum producers, Section 232 tariffs, and to a limited extent, quotas, are accomplishing their goal of bolstering U.S. manufacturing capacity and allowing their firms to become profitable again — at least in the short run.

Though some proponents of the Section 232 protections do not advocate for quotas specifically, and recognize their downsides, others argue that quotas are a necessary component of the Section 232 program. Here’s why.

First, for industries seeking protection, quotas arguably provide greater certainty than tariffs that imports will be limited. Under tariffs, if importers can bear the costs, or exporters can reduce their prices, imports will continue to flow in and competition will remain high. For example, Vietnam’s 2018 exports of flat steel products, which are covered by Section 232 tariffs, increased by 79 percent compared to 2017. If strict quotas were applied instead of tariffs, Vietnam’s 2018 exports likely would have decreased.

Second, steel and aluminum manufacturers argue that without quotas, “countries that have exemptions [to the Section 232 tariffs] would likely redirect their metals exports to the United States to take advantage of higher prices there, undermining the purpose of the tariffs.”

Finally, the Trump Administration perceives that Section 232 quota agreements with U.S. trading partners and security allies, in combination with tariffs, are helping to pressure and incentivize allies to take seriously the problem of global excess capacity. U.S. unilateral tariffs may also have the opposite effect, though, – making allies less willing to work cooperatively with the United States to address fundamental global problems.

Downsides for Downstream Industries

It’s a different story for U.S. downstream manufacturers, who say quotas have entailed “severe supply constraints” and “created even more business uncertainty than tariffs”.

Importers may no longer be able to guarantee that their goods can enter under the quota, or at all. They may encounter unanticipated costs in the form of storage charges and shipping fees if the quota is filled while goods are in transit. They may face unpredictably higher prices for goods subject to a quota. They may have to find new suppliers and bear all the costs of negotiating new contracts, building new relationships, and shipping from a new location. The exclusion process implemented in August 2018 may provide some relief for importers under supply pressure, though its application may also introduce more uncertainty.

More generally, downstream manufacturers argue that Section 232 quotas and tariffs raise prices inhibiting their competitiveness, and have a chilling effect on growth, employment and investment. Although many businesses have been buoyed by the strong U.S. economy, they say that employment and sales in their industries would have increased even more were it not for tariffs and quotas raising prices. Moreover, downstream industries using steel and aluminum products employ more Americans than steel and primary aluminum manufacturers, so many jobs are vulnerable if supply contracts too much.

North America Alternative to Metal Quotas

In order to move forward with passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the United States, Canada and Mexico first had to address the steel, aluminum and retaliatory tariffs in place since 2018. Although all parties considered quotas as a possible way forward, in the end, they agreed to lift all steel, aluminum, and related retaliatory tariffs, as well as withdraw pending WTO litigation, without imposing quotas.

The three countries agreed to prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices; prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada, Mexico, or the United States to the other country; and establish a monitoring process to detect surges of aluminum and steel imports among them.

This agreement is a positive development for two key reasons: the parties removed tariffs while avoiding quotas, and agreed to address the underlying cause of U.S. industry distress – global excess capacity.

Addressing Global Excess Capacity is Key

Though tariffs and quotas may provide short-term relief, solving underlying global excess capacity problems is critical to addressing U.S. industries’ long-term challenges, and any long-term solution will require more than the mere application of protectionist measures. The United States will have to work closely and creatively with its trading partners to address this challenge directly and to persuade the world’s largest producers — including China — to reduce global excess capacity.

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This article is a shortened version of an original report published by the Hinrich Foundation.

Feature Image Credit: Jason Welker, from “Protectionist Quotas” video on Youtube.

Holly Smith

Holly Smith is a lawyer and consultant based in Hong Kong. From 2009 to 2015, she served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as a Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation, a Director for China Affairs, and a senior policy advisor to the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

Brazil

Why Brazil Could Be the U.S.’s Next Great Trade Partner

The U.S. and Brazil are the largest economies in the Americas, and all signs point to an even more active relationship between the two powerhouses in the future. Just this year it was confirmed that U.S. citizens would no longer need a visa to travel to Brazil and can remain in the country for at least 90 days, allowing for more frequent interactions at a very basic level. Since that announcement, Brazil has seen increased travel interest from American tourists, with searches for flights from the U.S. to Brazil up more than 30 percent in March alone, compared to the previous year. 

While tourism is a great way to build strong country relationships, what’s even more significant is a recent report that shows investment interactions between the U.S. and Brazil increased – and improved – between 2008 and 2017. More specifically, the report highlighted growth and opportunity across three of the most powerful indicators of economic health between 2008 and 2017: direct investments, exportation and employment. 

Consider that by the end of 2017, U.S. investments into the Brazilian economy reached a whopping $68 billion, comprising nearly 3.3 percent of Brazil’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) – according to the report. For its part, Brazil’s foreign direct investments into the U.S. surged dramatically (356.5 percent) over the last decade, reaching over $42 billion in 2017. What’s more, from an exportation standpoint, the U.S. is a key destination for Brazilian exports. In fact, in 2017 alone, Brazil exported goods worth over $27 billion to the U.S. Similarly, the U.S. was the second main source of imports to Brazil in 2017. 

Naturally, prolific trade and investment between the two countries is already leading to job creation in both countries. U.S.-controlled multinational companies employed nearly 655,000 Brazilians in 2015 and generated 131,900 new jobs in Brazil between 2009 and 2015. On the other hand, Brazilian companies in the U.S. employed over 74,000 Americans in 2015. Further, for Brazil, increasing trade with the U.S. also eases the country’s access to other international markets, boosting Brazil’s clout internationally while also broadening the job market and improving the Brazilian economy. In turn, increased trade with Brazil offers the U.S. access to resources that are critical to the American economy, such as oil and gas, mining, and chemicals. 

As these initial results suggest, the opportunities on the horizon for a mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries are seemingly limitless. Currently, the U.S. is investing heavily in sectors across the Brazilian economy, focusing especially on mining, finance and insurance – and the U.S. is also especially well positioned to take advantage of unprecedented access and opportunity in one particular sector: oil. In light of that fact that the global demand for oil is rising, potentially reaching 102.3 million barrels per day by 2022, the Brazilian oil and gas industry presents the next great investment opportunity for foreign investors, especially those from the U.S. 

Indeed, Brazil’s oil reserves are enormous – the 15th largest in the world, with over 15 billion barrels – and are located mostly offshore in deep waters. Brazilian oil companies are already pushing the boundaries of innovation when it comes to deep water exploration. Petrobras, for example, discovered pre-salt oil reserves – which are entirely unique to Brazil – off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the Santos Basin in 2006. This initial discovery led the company to find a series of even larger oil reserves containing potentially billions of barrels of light oil. As oil experts will know, pre-salt extraction is more painstaking and complicated than other forms of oil and gas removal. However, investing in exploration and production in the pre-salt regions is becoming absolutely critical as the world’s post-salt reserves dwindle. Since discovering these reserves, Petrobras has actually developed many of the technologies needed to overcome harsh oceanographic conditions and create production infrastructure. 

Of course, breaking into a new foreign market is always daunting. To entice foreign investors who are best equipped to efficiently and responsibly drill at these pre-salt reserves, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency is organizing seven auctions (also known as “bidding rounds”) between 2019 and 2021, during which they’ll auction off areas containing billions of barrels of oil. These bidding rounds are designed to formally and transparently assign blocks from the pre-salt reserves that Petrobras currently has ownership over. During an upcoming bidding round on November 6, for instance, the Brazilian government will auction off the rights to extract the excess of 15 barrels of oil from across four fields called Atapu, Buzios and Itapu e Sépia. The winners will be able to utilize Petrobras’ technical data for pre-salt exploration and extraction in return for reimbursing Petrobras for a portion of its investment costs.

Encouraging bilateral trade and investment between Brazil and the United States is already leading to economic growth for both countries, and – as the data from recent years shows – the opportunities for future mutual prosperity are endless. By continuing to create unique investment opportunities, such as those offered to foreign investors during the upcoming oil auctions, Brazil will be able to court U.S. investors and further solidify its standing as America’s next great international trade partner. 

To consult the schedule of bids and more information, please, refer to: http://rodadas.anp.gov.br/en/

 

Sergio Ricardo Segovia Barbosa, 55, is a retired Rear Admiral in Brazilian Navy. With recognized professional experience in military, managerial and governmental areas, he has worked in Intelligence Analysis, Military Operations, and Logistics. He also worked in Emergency and Risk Management, Maritime Safety, Strategic Planning, Navigation and Maritime Operations. In addition, in the foreign trade area, he was responsible for logistics and international acquisition processes, when he was in charge of the group for ship receiving abroad.

Mr. Segovia has a postgraduate degree in Politics and Strategy from the War College. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

pension reform

Long-Awaited Brazilian Pension Reform Reopens Doors for US Investors Ahead of US Secretary Wilbur Ross’s Trip to Brazil

Nearly two weeks ago, Brazil’s House of Representatives approved, in a first round of voting, a long-debated reform of the country’s convoluted pension system. For the millions of Brazilians following the Reforma da Previdência (Pension Reform), this first round of approvals is a positive step forward and one that ensures a reasonable forecast for the estimated economic impact this will have on Brazil over the next decade.

But Brazilians are not the only ones who should celebrate the outcomes of this first round of voting. For US investors, the House’s approval of Brazil’s pension reform is a green light for far greater opportunities to come. Ahead of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s trip to Brazil in the coming week, this move will also help the US evaluate how domestic reforms in Brazil can facilitate US-Brazil bilateral commercial engagement.

The Pension Reform, as it stands, is expected to help revamp Brazil’s costly pension system, bolster Brazilian public finances and bring budget numbers down to a sustainable level within the next years. More importantly, it will be a trigger for much-needed tax reform. Implementation of both pension and tax reforms would be a real turning point for the country’s economy.

Though Brazilians and investors are right to celebrate this progress, a number of additional hurdles lie ahead for the Reforma da Previdência before it is approved. Over the coming weeks, the reform will have to pass through a vote by the Special Committee, a second round of approvals by the House, and two rounds of approvals by the Brazilian Senate.

Nevertheless, for President Jair Bolsonaro’s economic team, headed by economist Paulo Guedes, this is a victory. Since Bolsonaro’s visit to Washington in March 2019, companies interested in investing in Brazil have kept their eyes peeled for concrete outcomes from Brazil’s new administration. This is one such outcome.

Does the Pension Reform solve all of Brazil’s problems? Far from it. The text itself is not perfect and can be (in fact has been) criticized, especially as it pertains to the benefits provided for different categories of workers. But despite its imperfections, foreign investors can take this step forward as a sign that the Brazilian government is committed to making difficult decisions to improve its economic circumstances. There is now an opportunity for Brazil to embark on a growth cycle.

Relying on the assumption that the reform will pass, the Brazilian real has strengthened in the past weeks. This will foster investments in the middle to long term. In addition, it is important to note the government has encouraged the expansion of actions related to the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) in an effort to create a more business friendly and less bureaucratic environment for foreign investors in several sectors of the economy.

Over the long term, in addition to opening a door to other relevant and necessary legislative changes, the approval of the Pension Reform shows Brazil’s commitment to implementing broader necessary reforms, a positive sign to the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) currently evaluating Brazil’s request for accession.

Along with the excitement around the approval of the pension reform text in the past weeks, Brazil can count on another recent victory: the signing of the Mercosur-European Union Agreement. After twenty years of negotiations, under the leadership of Mauricio Macri and Jair Bolsonaro Mercosur reached a final and comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union on June 28, sending a message to the world that Mercosur’s member countries are committed to the multilateral trading system and are looking to expand their trade relationships.

Today’s Brazil is open to investments and to competition; the US private sector should rejoice in these changes. The Brazilian House’s approval of the Pension Reform is at the heart of changes deemed necessary to reduce red tape and improve business performance in Brazil. As President Bolsonaro marks 200 days in office, investors should be ready to once again seize on the opportunities Latin America’s largest economy has to offer.

 

Renata Vargas Amaral is a Visiting Scholar in the Trade, Investment and Development Program at the Washington College of Law at American University. She is the founder of Women Inside Trade.

 Roberta Braga is an Associate Director at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center of the Atlantic Council

 With Valentina Sader, Program Assistant at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center of the Atlantic Council

Brazil’s Banco Bradesco Confirms Blockchain Integration

Bradesco Bank – the second largest private bank in Brazil, released information confirming the integration of the Marco Polo Network. The global trade finance network combines R3’s Corda blockchain technology and the TradeIX distributed trade finance platform to create a unique, paced process for financial institutions to utilize.

Marco Polo’s Network gives banks and other financial institutions the advantage of learning and exploring opportunities in blockchain technology prior to implementing strategic trade finance initiatives with the platform.

“Facilitating financial inclusion and supporting economic growth is one of our key priorities. Following the successful digitalization of our retail services, we’re now focused on leveraging the best technology to develop new trade finance solutions for our corporate banking customers,” said Roberto Medeiros, Bradesco’s Head of International and Trade Finance in the announcement.

“Our Research & Innovation Department carefully assessed the options available to implement blockchain solutions and APIs. The expertise of the Marco Polo Network, the forward-looking vision and the end user-focused approach convinced us that we had found the optimum place to succeed,” he added.

With a focus on improving trade finance by increasing transparency, connectivity, and optionality, the joint finance initiative provides solutions and efficiencies to minimize financial roadblocks while maximizing client and partner relationships.

“As Marco Polo’s global network continues to grow momentum, it is clear that it is bringing tremendous value to the trade finance and working capital sector. Institutions which get ahead of the curve by engaging actively with blockchain technology now through use-cases and pilots will be ahead of the curve and gain a significant competitive advantage. Banco Bradesco is joining a network leading the way in exploring how blockchain can improve the entire trade finance lifecycle,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3.

Source: Marco Polo

Brazilian Medical Tech Firm Selects Orlando’s Lake Nona for New Global Headquarters

Brazil-based medical technology firm Invel has announced plans to move its global headquarters to Lake Nona’s Medical City of the Orlando, Florida region. The firm, which creates biocearmic and far infrared apparel to help with blood flow, chronic muscle pain and cell repair, will open in its new space on Feb. 18. Invel will start operations at its Lake Nona headquarters with 10 employees and expects to add more jobs in later 2019.

Invel’s global headquarters will be located at the GuideWell Innovation Center of Lake Nona’s Medical City. Invel chose the Lake Nona Medical City, a 650-acre health and life sciences park, for its high concentration of medical professionals and status as the premiere global location for health and wellness innovation. The firm will join Lake Nona Medical City’s community that includes the University of Central Florida Health Sciences CampusVA Medical Center, the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute and more.

The Lake Nona district also currently has more than $1 billion worth of projects planned for the next several years. This includes KPMG’s state-of-the-art $430 million new training facility. Amazon is also joining with a planned $120 million, 2.3 million-square-foot fulfillment center and a 3.8-million-square-foot Town Center is underway in partnership with shopping center pioneer Steiner + Associates and Alphabet’s Intersection, who partnered with Lake Nona to create a tech-forward plan to transform traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

Not only will Invel join Lake Nona’s community of medical experts, but it will also leverage Orlando’s diverse life sciences sector to advance its technology. Orlando’s life sciences industry is home to 4,800 companies and thanks to the region’s tech growth, Orlando is also a rising hub for medical technology innovation.

 

Dachser Logistics Urges Proactive Preparations for Brazilian Holiday

Leading global logistics provider, Dachser, released information this week for industry players on how to prepare for Carnival – known as the Brazil’s lengthiest and most important holiday.
In addition to the vast importance the holiday holds, many businesses are known to pause operations for the celebration, which is known to last as long as 10 days for some regions in the country. Businesses such as airports, ports, roads, tolls and hotels are all part of the list that are directly impacted by the holiday.

“Businesses should plan their logistics strategy well in advance of the holiday. We review the critical steps with our colleagues at Dachser Brazil in detail to make sure our customers’ supply chains continue to run without major interruptions,” explains Vincent Touya, Managing Director Dachser USA.
Of the most important actions to take into consideration, Dachser released the list below in an effort to help other businesses with preparations. Primary themes include communication and proactivity.
For example, creating an inventory well stocked throughout the duration of the holiday and booking shipments sooner than later. Dachser also stresses the importance of looping in logistics providers of priority shipments to ensure space is available. Taking these steps ensure your supply chain goes uninterrupted.
Source: BSY Associates

U.S. Export Volume Declines as Trade Deficit Widens

Washington, D.C. – The volume of U.S. exports unexpectedly hit a five-month low in September, widening the trade deficit by 7.6 percent to $40.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The DOC said that September’s shortfall is bigger than the $38.1 billion deficit that the government had forecasted in its recently published advance gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for the third quarter.

As a result, the 3.5 percent annual growth pace it estimated “will probably be trimmed” when the government publishes its revisions later this month.

At the same time, the agency revised August’s trade deficit to $39.99 billion from a previously reported $40.11 billion shortfall. When adjusted for inflation, the trade deficit increased to $50.76 billion from $48.22 billion.

Trade was reported to have contributed only 1.32 percentage points to U.S. GDP growth.

Exports in September fell 1.5 percent to $195.59 billion, the lowest since April, while exports to the European Union fell 6.5 percent and those to China slipped 3.2 percent.

Transpacific shipments to Japan tumbled 14.7 percent with declines also seen in the volume of exports to both Mexico and Brazil.

Overall imports were unchanged in September as petroleum imports hit their lowest level since November 2009. A domestic energy boom has seen the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil, helping to temper the trade deficit.

Consumer goods imports, however, were the highest on record, as were non-petroleum imports.

Imports from Canada were the highest since July 2008, while inbound shipments from China also hit an all-time record boosting the U.S. trade deficit with that country gap to $35.6 billion, the highest on record.

11/06/2014