Tag Archives: East Asia

Brazilian meat packers have stopped production because beef prices have soared, domestic demand has shrunk | Instant News

SAO PAULO, April 12 (Reuters) – Brazilian beef packers have halted production at certain locations, as rising costs that cannot be passed on to consumer prices have squeezed margins, industry sources and representatives told Reuters.

Several small, medium and large production facilities have experienced outages or remain unemployed as they match supply to demand, said Paulo Mustefaga, president of the Abrafigo trading group, without providing additional details.

“The price of cattle has increased by about 60% over the year and the industry has been able to pass 40% of the cost well,” said Mustefaga. “This sector is having difficulty making ends meet.”

The 15-kilogram Arroba, Brazil’s benchmark for cattle prices, hit a historic high of 320 reais ($ 55.95) in recent days, driven by low animal supplies and heating demand for Brazilian beef exports, especially from China.

Mustefaga said another factor forcing companies to cut back on slaughter is the decline in the purchasing power of Brazilian families, as the coronavirus pandemic is slowing down Brazil’s already sluggish economic activity.

Brazil’s second-largest meat processor Marfrig, which owns National Beef in the United States, confirmed to Reuters it was sending employees on leave at a unit in the city of Alegrete for 30 days. The slaughtering there resumed on April 1.

The company also said it was temporarily suspending a plant in Rondonia state.

Minerva Foods, South America’s biggest beef exporter, suspended the Mato Grosso state facility and has not set a time to return, sources close to the company said on condition of anonymity.

Last month, Minerva shut down a factory in the state of Sao Paulo for 20 days, but production has now resumed.

Minerva declined to comment. ($ 1 = 5,7193 reais) (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo Written by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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Australia’s DLR is abating amid disappointing vaccine launches, the NZ kiwi has not changed | Instant News

SYDNEY, April 12 (Reuters) – The Australian dollar opened the week slightly lower on Monday, as investor moods deteriorated following a setback in the country’s vaccination program, while the New Zealand dollar was little changed.

The Aussie dollar fell 0.15% to $ 0.7606, extending Friday’s losses, sparked by concerns about a slowdown in the country’s coronavirus vaccine rollout.

The currency has been consolidating around $ 0.7650 in recent weeks following a brief rise to $ 0.80 earlier this year.

Australia has abandoned its goal of vaccinating nearly all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following suggestions that people under 50 would prefer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to an AstraZeneca shot.

Apart from the disappointing vaccine news, investors were also cautious after the end of the state salary subsidy program.

The Aussie “is very risky to trade this week in our view,” Commonwealth Bank strategists said in a note. “The combination of our prospects for a stronger USD and delays in launching a vaccine in Australia are obstacles.”

However, the CBA expects the antipodean currency weakness to be short-lived.

The New Zealand dollar was little changed, having hovered around the $ 0.7031 level since April 2. The main barrier for the Kiwi is $ 0.7053, and support lies around $ 0.70.

New Zealand government bonds were little changed, with yields trading 2-3 basis points higher at the end of the longer curve.

The yield on Australia’s 10-year bond was higher at 1.71%, but far short of last month’s peak of 1.87%. They are trading on a 6 basis point spread across the US Treasury, up from 3 basis points on Friday but far short of the 40 basis point difference reached in February. (Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)


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Australia’s DLR slipped as vaccine rollouts slowed, still poised for a weekly hike | Instant News

SYDNEY, April 9 (Reuters) – The Australian dollar stumbled on Friday, pulling on the New Zealand dollar as well, due to concerns about a slowdown in Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout following the imposition of age-related restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca injections.

The Australian dollar was last down 0.6% at $ 0.7607, nearly reversing its gains from Thursday and falling back from a two-week peak of $ 0.7675 after failing to hold above major chart resistance at $ 0.7668.

Australia has limited the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine – which is largely based on a vaccination program – because of the risk of blood clots. The policy change effectively undermined the government’s chances of inoculating the entire population that was not inoculated by October.

“Even if the vaccination program is slow, it will further complicate Australia’s launch schedule,” said Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA.

“Delayed border reopening equals negative for Australia.”

For the week so far, the Aussie is still up 0.3%, the first gain since the week of March 12th.

The currency has been consolidating around $ 0.7650 in recent weeks after a brief advance to $ 0.80 earlier this year. Some analysts expect the price to hit that high again.

“We continue to expect the AUD to rise to $ 0.85 in the first half of 2022, supported by high commodity prices and by the momentum gathering in the global recovery, including across Europe,” currency strategist Westpac wrote in a note.

Westpac expects the currency to hit $ 0.82 by the end of this year.

“The main source of increased growth is an increase in our forecast for US growth in 2021,” added the analysts.

The New Zealand dollar fell 0.5% to $ 0.7025. The kiwi faces resistance at $ 0.7070 with the next major barrier at $ 0.7100.

For the week this has been largely unchanged, marking another week of disappointing performance.

Separately, the prospect of a rate hike in China weighed on the antipodean currency after data showed the country’s factory prices rose at the fastest annual rate since July 2018 in March.

China is the top trading partner for Australia and New Zealand.

“Overall, AUD and NZD, are facing a number of obstacles today,” said Halley of OANDA. (Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore)


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The G20 does not discuss extending its debt framework to middle-income countries – the Italian presidency | Instant News

ROME, April 7 (Reuters) – Group of 20 finance chiefs did not discuss expanding the general framework on how to manage debt repayments of poor countries to include middle-income countries, Italian Economy Minister Daniele Franco said on Wednesday.

Italy holds the presidency of the G20 this year.

Speaking to reporters after finance ministers and central bankers met by video conference, Franco also said that the US proposal for a global minimum corporate tax rate was consistent with the work in progress in the G20.

An agreement on this is expected to be reached in July, when the G20 will meet in Venice, Franco said. (Reporting by Gavin Jones and Jan Strupczewski, editing by Angelo Amante)


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Germany’s Scholz welcomes the US move to impose a minimum global corporate tax rate | Instant News

BERLIN, April 6 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Tuesday welcomed US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s pledge to set a minimum global corporate tax rate, adding that a deal between more than 140 countries could be possible by the summer.

“I am very excited that with this corporate taxation initiative, we will succeed in ending the worldwide race to the foundation of taxation,” said Scholz. He added that any deal should include new rules for how to tax business across borders by the digital technology giant.

Yellen said on Monday that he was working with G20 countries to agree on a minimum global corporate tax rate and promised that restoring US multilateral leadership would strengthen the global economy and advance US interests. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Madeline Chambers)


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