Monday, June 24, 2013

Brazil - Compatriot of North Australia?

A recent article on the ABC web site about Brazil opens up some ideas about synergies between northern Australia and Brazil.

products of Brazil
The article is here - .

Climatically, much of Northern Australia and Brazil are similar, especially the northern parts of Brazil, and the more southern area are maybe more similar to SE Queensland, as broad generalisations. 

Brazil agriculture

It is not without some strong parallels, that the Embraer aircraft of Brazil are well represented in commercial RPT fleets across north Australia, with Air North a significant operator of the aircraft - they are operationally designed to better suit tropical operational areas, and operate in remote and less technologically able areas; they are good aircraft.

The Brazilian mining giants including Vale are rapidly digging iron ore holes in Brazil, along with some in Australia, and looking at other mineral operations as well.  They are major competitors to Australian companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio, as well as Xstrata [ now Glencore] in international markets as well as emerging mining countries, eg Africa.

Both Australia and Brazil, are sized similarly, with large parts of the areas in the tropics.  Brazil is certainly a major cattle producer, even if less proportionally is exported than Australia, and disease issues also restrict options for export.  It would be a worry for Australian beef exports, boxed or live, if Brazil [as well as Argentina] ever got their act together and that region emerged as a serious, long term competitor.  They might in relation to China, still.

Australia's abattoirs have significant involvement by JBS, the Brazilian company that is probably the wold's biggest meat processing business.

There is a huge agribusiness system operating in Brazil, and Nufarm [ Australia's home grown agrochemical and seed company] is operating widely in Brazil.  It is likely that the r and D coming from Brazil in relation to variety development [ peanut,soybean, corn, sorghum etc],  seed technology may be applicable in Australia, or at least adaptable, and home grown technology including precision agriculture and controlled traffic systems are certainly of widening interest in Brazil and Argentina.

Socially the Brazilian economy is less endowed with support systems such as operate in Australia - with our social support, welfare and medical [ Medicare system] good examples where the Australian people are much better supported.

Should Australia, and north Australia especially, be seeking to improve and develop major interaction with Brazil?  Surely knowing much more about a competitor is useful.  It is true some activity is occurring, but increasing the tempo of those interactions might be considered a very smart option.

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