Readings

"Can Brazil Meet the World's Growing Need for Ethanol?"

Brazil is the world's second largest ethanol producer and exporter (after the United States). Several factors have combined to stimulate the development of Brazil's ethanol industry: an increased capacity to produce sugarcane as an ethanol feedstock, supportive government policies, and improved efficiency in sugarcane production and ethanol conversion processes (Amber Waves, December 2011).

Brazil's Ethanol Industry: Looking Forward

This report profiles and analyzes Brazil's ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade (June 2011).

Brazil's Cotton Industry: Economic Reform and Development

This report identifies the factors contributing to the cycles in Brazil's cotton production and exports that have made the country both an important market for U.S. cotton exports and now a competitor with U.S. cotton producers since 1990 (June 2011).

The Expansion of Modern Grocery Retailing and Trade in Developing Countries

Modern grocery retailing has been expanding rapidly in developing countries. The expansion could affect food trade by helping consumers achieve their preferences for dietary diversity, convenience, and quality, as well as by introducing supply chain efficiencies that may reduce real food prices. The findings suggest that modern retail expansion has been associated with the demand for nonprice characteristics, such as convenience in food shopping and preparation, rather than developing more efficient supply chains (July 2011).

"The Future of Biofuels: A Global Perspective"

Global biofuel production tripled between 2000 and 2007, but still accounts for less than 3 percent of the transportation fuel supply worldwide. Biofuels will likely be part of a portfolio of solutions to high energy prices, including conservation, more efficient energy use, and use of other alternative fuels (Amber Waves, November 2007).

"Brazil's Booming Agriculture Faces Obstacles"

Brazil has emerged as an important player in global food and agricultural markets, but the long-term growth of Brazilian agriculture could slow due to supply-side factors. At the same time, growth and changes in food demand in Brazil could dampen growth in processed and high-value agro-food exports (Amber Waves, November 2006).

How Does Structural Change in the Global Soybean Market Affect the U.S. Price?

South American soybean production, combined with the U.S. soybean stocks-to-use ratio, provides a strong basis for forecasting U.S. soybean prices. South American soybean production accounts for much of the global structural change that has altered the relationships among U.S. soybean production, use, stocks, and price (April 2004).

U.S. Agriculture and the Free Trade Area of the Americas

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), under negotiation among the United States and 33 countries in the Western Hemisphere, will progressively liberalize trade and investment in the region. The FTAA will lead to an estimated 6 percent increase in annual U.S. agricultural exports to the Hemisphere and a 3 percent increase in annual U.S. agricultural imports from the Hemisphere (March 2004).

International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns

Analysis of major consumption expenditures across 114 countries indicates that poorer countries are more responsive to price and income changes and also allocate larger shares of their total budget to necessities such as food (October 2003).

Structure of the Global Markets for Meat

Many factors determine the Structure of the Global Markets for Meat, including the relative availability of resources for raising and processing animals for meat. Countries' preferences for various cuts of meat provide opportunities for international trade (September 2003).

Agriculture in Brazil and Argentina: Developments and Prospects for Major Field Crops

Recent increases in international competitiveness by Argentine and Brazilian grain and soybean producers likely foreshadow continued global trade-share gains, particularly for soybeans and soybean products. Macroeconomic and policy developments, particularly those related to exchange rates, and infrastructure improvements will remain central to each country's future prospects (January 2002).

The Brazilian Sugar Industry: Recent Developments

Since Brazil can produce either sugar or ethanol from sugarcane, it is one of the few countries that can adjust sugar production rapidly to potential world sugar shortfalls and high international prices. Moreover, Brazilian government policies supporting economic liberalization are likely to increase sugar production and exports (September 2001).

Lower Real Boosts Brazil's Agricultural Exports

Following economic crises in Asia and Russia, Brazil suffered its own financial crisis, which was exacerbated by capital flight. Brazil devalued its currency, the real, 32 percent, which had an immediate, positive effect-enhancing the competitiveness of Brazil's agricultural exports. ERS analysis describes the Brazilian financial crisis and its effects on Brazilian farmers and international agricultural prices and trade (March 2000).

Brazil's Financial Crisis and the Potential Aftershocks

Brazil is known primarily as an agricultural exporter, not an importer. Crisis-related currency devaluation increased the competitiveness of its agricultural exports vis-a-vis U.S. exports, including soybeans and soy products. Brazil's exports to the United States—coffee, orange juice, and others—also benefited from the devaluation (March 1999).

U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in the Western Hemisphere Processed Food Industry

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Brazil's processed food industry doubled from $1.03 billion in 1990 to $2.15 billion in 1999, which increased sales for U.S. food companies in the growing Brazilian market. Trade characteristics, such as exports, imports, and tariffs, and industry-specific characteristics, such as industry size and concentration, explain the surge in FDI. U.S. FDI may complement, rather than substitute for, processed food exports from the United States (March 1998).

Links

U.S. Department of Agriculture

World Agricultural Outlook Board. Supply and demand estimates, weather and climate.

Foreign Agricultural Service. Country and commodity information.

Other U.S. Government

U.S. Department of Commerce.

International Trade Commission. Reports and publications.

United States Trade Representative.

Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook.

International Organizations

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

  • FAOSTAT. Data on production, trade, food balance sheets, fertilizer and pesticides, land use and irrigation, forest and fishery products, population, agricultural machinery, and food aid shipments.

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Statistical yearbook, economic survey.

World Bank. Country and regional reports and data.

International Monetary Fund. Country financial and macroeconomic reports.

World Trade Organization. Trade topics, including dispute settlements.

Organization of American States.

Inter-American Development Bank. Research and statistics by country.

Brazilian Government

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (Institute for Geography and Statistics). Brazil in brief; statistical links; publications.

Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply). Statistics, regulations, plans.