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Top 5 Exports: Brazil


Iron ore, crude oil, soybeans, sugar, and poultry top the list of Brazil's biggest exports.

Brazilian crude oil exports were 21.6 billion in 2011, with roughly one-third of the country's crude being shipped to the United States. State-owned Petrobras, the world's tenth largest company, had a legal monopoly on Brazil's oil industry until 1997. It controls the Campos Basin oil field, which is responsible for 80% of Brazil's oil output. Brazilian industrial magnate Eike Batista's OGX Petróleo (OGXPY) is another domestic player, although its efforts are greatly overshadowed by Petrobras.

This summer, Bloomberg reported that the Brazilian government has been restricting the sale of exploration areas since the Lula field was discovered five years ago, and it has shot down bids from global oil players like Exxon (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A). This should have given Petrobras a leg up, but as the Wall Street Journal points out, shares of Petrobras have been trending downwards since a 2008 high. Shares of OGX haven't fared well recently either.


With the United States' soybean crop expected to be the lowest yield in nine years due to drought, Brazil is poised to become the world's largest soybean producer for the first time. Brazilian soybean exports were valued at $16.3 billion in 2011, and thanks to favorable weather conditions Brazil's crop could reach 76 million tons in 2012/13, versus an expected 73 million tons from the United States, according to the International Grain Council. This is a sharp reversal from 2011/12, when Brazil's production of 66.4 million tons was significantly outweighed by the United States' 83.2 million.
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