TLA Times | August 01, 2019


Argentina’s trade gap turns positive in one year’s time

No June gloom for Argentina’s trade picture. Argentina recorded a trade surplus of $1.06 billion in June after running up a $322 million deficit in June 2018, Reuters reports. The nation, which has the South America’s second-largest economy, enjoyed a $1.373 billion trade surplus in May. Much of the change can be traced to strong agriculture   exports and to the Argentine Peso’s relative weakness. Details


Mining businesses want to use more solar power

Mining businesses in Chile hope to use more solar power in the near future, BNAmericas reports. The price of silicon has dropped dramatically in the past decade, from $450 per kilogram in 2008 to less than $10 in 2017. Silicon is a key component in photovoltaic panels, making up about a fifth of the material. This lowered cost of producing a watt of energy from around $5 to less than $2. “In Chile, solar energy is slowly penetrating the market, but you see a growing amount of photovoltaic projects for mining,’’ Rafael Martínez, a project manager for a local mining company, tells BNAmericas. “This type of energy should occupy more space in mining production systems in the coming years.” Details


Bunge, BP make sweet deal, create sugar-cane crushing giant

Reuters reports that Bunge, a U.S.-based commodities trader, and BP will merge their ethanol and sugar businesses. The deal will create BP Bunge Bioenergia, the third-largest processer of sugar cane in the world. The new venture will have 11 cane-crushing plants and a capacity of 32 million tons annually. Brazil has strong demand for ethanol and other bioenergy, and BP also hopes to expand its biofuel business in Asia. The sugar market is a challenging business right now. Bunge has been trying to sell its sugar operation. Details


Drop in agriculture prices cuts inflation rate to 3.84%

Mexico’s inflation rate fell in early July to its lowest level since December 2016, Mexico News Daily reports. A 19% drop in grape prices led the way as the country neared the target rate set by The Bank of Mexico. If inflation stays relatively low, business groups believe the central bank will cut interest rates. Interest rates are currently at 8.25%, the highest in a decade. Details

Retailers in Mexico are embracing e-tail

The Packer reports that retail in Mexico is expanding rapidly online. Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that online retail enjoyed double-digit growth. Same-store growth was 5% and all brick-and-mortar stores grew by 8.5%. International and local retailers are launching online channels of distribution to reach Mexican consumers. Details



Tourists have taken over once notorious town

Can you think of a worse job 20 years ago than promoting Medellin, Colombia as a tourist attraction? Well, obviously someone took the job and excelled at it. The one-time capital of cocaine trade is a tourist hot spot. Medellin is the home of sculptor Fernando Botero. It has good museums, a lively dining scene, a faux rural village, and, not surprisingly, great coffee. You can take a ride on the Medellin Metro Cable and see spectacular views from high above the city. And of course there are tours that give you the lowdown of the bad old days of the narco trade. Details
Life expectancy (in years) in Mexico

Source: data.worldbank.org

Currency | Per US Dollar









Figures from Aug. 01 Source: www.xe.com

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