Cities hit hard by severe floods concentrate 90% of Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul exports

May, 14, 2024 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202419

Nearly 90% of exports from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s sixth-largest exporting state last year, originate from cities hit hard by the heavy rains that caused deadly floods in the region since late April.

This calculation encompasses the 336 municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul currently under a state of public calamity, in addition to Rio Grande, the state’s primary exporting hub. Although Rio Grande wasn’t initially included in the initial public calamity declaration earlier this month, the city is now struggling with the floods.

These 337 municipalities collectively generated US$19.6 billion in exports last year, representing 89.6% of the state’s total. Not taking Rio Grande into consideration, this figure drops to US$15.8 billion, at nearly 73.2% of the total.

Despite its agricultural prowess, the state plays a significant role in Brazil’s exports across low-technology manufacturing (ranking third at 12.7% of the total in 2023) and medium-high technology sectors (also third at 9%). In products with low technological intensity, the state holds the eighth position, contributing 3.5% to national exports.

In terms of export destinations, China emerged as the top importer of Rio Grande do Sul-produced exports, accounting for 24.6% (US$5.5 billion), trailed by the USA (US$2 billion), Argentina (US$1.1 billion), Vietnam (US$710 million), and Belgium (US$681 million) in 2023.

The primary exported products from Rio Grande do Sul cities in 2023 included soybeans (US$4.1 billion), tobacco (US$2.4 billion), soybean oil residues (US$1.8 billion), poultry meat (US$1.4 billion), and chemical wood pulp (US$833 million).

In response to the calamity, the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul (MPRS) announced an investigation into the extent of the floods’ impact on the affected municipalities. This probe was launched after Imbé, a coastal city in Brazil’s southernmost state, declared a state of calamity on Wednesday (8), despite not being directly affected by the recent rains. The decision was attributed to the influx of displaced individuals from neighboring municipalities, as per the local mayor’s statement.

Source: Valor Econômico

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