Brazilian industry sees record drop due to Covid-19

Brazilian industry sees record drop due to Covid-19
Mine in Paracatu, Minas Gerais. Photo: Casa da Photo/Shutterstock

Brazilian industrial production fell by an unprecedented average rate of 18.8 percent between March and April due to the Covid-19 crisis, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Geography and Statistics. The monthly drop was the largest in Brazil’s history, surpassing the previous record set during the 2018 trucker’s strike.

Thirteen of the 15 states surveyed showed a decline in industrial production. Industries in São Paulo — Brazil’s industrial and financial hub, accounting for over a third of the country’s industrial production — saw output fall by 23.2 percent on average in April, in what was the sharpest fall in the state’s history.

The state of Amazonas, another large industrial contributor, recorded the biggest drop with production decreasing by 46.5 percent over the same period. Pre-pandemic industrial figures in Amazonas had shown encouraging numbers, with profits increasing by 11.57 percent between January and October of 2019.

Among the hardest-hit sectors are the automotive and textile industries, which saw production grind to a near halt in April. The only sectors showing positive numbers were in the production of pharmaceuticals, food, and cleaning supplies, which resulted in growth in the states of Goiás (2.3 percent) and Pará (4.9 percent).

On Monday, we reported that the World Bank forecasted the Brazilian GDP to shrink by 8 percent in 2020, making it worse than the expected worldwide contraction of 5 percent.

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