Brazil Economic Conditions in the 1950's 2

Brazil Economic Conditions in the 1950’s Part 2

South America

As has been said, the economic life of Brazil is now moving towards industrial activity, which is also matched by a greater activity of mining research. Coal production was 1,959,522 t in 1952, 2,024,929 in 1953, and has always been increasing until reaching 2,116,000 t in 1957; but a plan is in place which tends to bring production, by 1960, to an annual average of 3 million tonnes. Very promising manganese deposits have been found in the territory of Amapá, in the Serra do Navio, which was joined by a railway which ended in 1956 at the port of Santana, on the north bank of the Amazon River, which can even allow for export. of 700,000 tons of ore. Production of manganese ores was 249,233 t in 1952, but dropped to 162,529 in 1954, before rising to 212. 507 t in 1956 and touch 310,783 t in 1956 and 351,100 in 1957. Also in recent years, very rich iron ore deposits have been found in the Amapá territory, valued at 15 billion tons, with a percentage of iron 65%, so it is thought that Brazil will become one of the leading producers of this mineral. The production of iron ores, constantly increasing, reached 4,085,835 t in 1956 and 4,976,690 in 1957; for the most part these minerals are exported (USA and Europe); the 14,319 t bauxite deposits in 1952 reached 18,821 t in 1953, 27,618 t in 1954 and 45,071 and 69,755 t in the following two years. The production of zirconium, for which Brazil is one of the main world producers, went from 3786 t in 1954 to 3005 in 1955, to drop again to 2567 t in 1956. Furthermore, 80 oó of the total production of beryl comes from Brazil, but its export is forbidden anyway; in 1956 a good 2106 t were produced. Gold production also increased, by 3718 kg in 1954, by 3802 in 1956 and by 4350 in 1958, after a slight decline recorded in 1955, in which production had dropped to 3409 kg.

Research is also being done in the oil field; in 1955 oil fields were found in Nova Olinda, in the lower Madeira and in the lowland of the Recõncavo. Production is continuously increasing, from 119,691 t in 1953 to 264,000 in 1955, to 531,000 in 1956, which more than doubled in the following year (1,321,000 t). Along the Rio Negro, downstream from Manaus, a refinery has been installed, which for the moment processes material from Peru, but eight refineries are currently working throughout the country; in addition, in April 1956 the 54 km long Catu-Mato-Candeias oil pipeline came into operation, to which another 65 were added in 1957. The oil fleet, which currently has 31 ships, was also increased for a total tonnage of 228,000 t. Research in this field is proceeding and the presence of oil has also been ascertained in the state of Alagôas. Natural gas gave a production of 63,358,918 m in 19543, ascent to 83.877.536 m in 1956. As far as industry is concerned, a very important place is still occupied by the textile industry, especially the cotton industry which alone accounts for 25% of the Brazilian industry; the cotton mill had 3,453,000 spindles and 116,784 looms in 1957, with an average production of 1,500 million meters of fabrics. The wool mill currently has 200,000 spindles and 21,000 employees. For the processing of jute there are 54,963 spindles, 5752 looms with 13,000 employees. In the state of São Paulo, where silkworm farming is almost entirely concentrated, the silk industry is divided into 138 spinning mills, with 4,215 basins, 11,100 looms and approximately 10,000 workers. The artificial textile industry was also recently installed, which in 1957 were produced at the rate of 26,300 t.

Among the food industries, the meat industry has been significantly increased in relation to the increase in livestock.

The rubber industry now has six large factories employing over 12,000 workers. As a result, the paper, glass and ceramic industries as well as pharmaceutical chemicals have also increased; while in 1953, for example, there was only one plant for the production of anhydrous alcohol, today there are as many as 250; the “Companhia Nacional de Alcalis” was recently established for the production of neutral carbonate of soda and caustic soda, with plants in Cabo Frio (Rio de Janeiro).

The greatest development in the industrial field was recorded in the steel and mechanics. The “Companhia Siderurgica Belgo-Mineira” produced 220,000 tons of rolled products in 1955 and, in 1956, 194 tons of pig iron on average per day. Throughout the country, 1,198,000 t of cast iron were produced in 1957 (1,152,000 in 1956), 1,566,000 t of steel (1,375,000 in the previous year) and 1,221,000 t of rolled products (1,142,000 in 1956). The Volta Redonda complex, which supplies 50% of production, currently has two blast furnaces and employs about 13,000 workers. The automotive industry produced over 60,000 motor vehicles in 1958; a plant for the production of sewing machines was installed in Porto Alegre, and in São Paulo one for the tractor factory, which has already put 45,000 into circulation.

Hydroelectric resources, calculated at 14.5 million kW, in 1956 were exploited only at the rate of 3,360,011 kW, and there were 2308 power plants. In the state of São Paulo, the Rio Juquiá hydroelectric plant, located on the upper course of the river itself, is of considerable proportions, destined for aluminum production plants; a huge reservoir was built by means of a dam 48 m high and 208 m wide and which has a jump of 90 m. Two other hydroelectric plants are planned in Rio Grande do Sul: the one that will exploit the waters of Rio Passo Fundo, and whose power plant will have a power of 220,000 kW, and that of Rio Das Antas, with a 150,000 kw power plant. In Mato Grosso, the Cuiabá power plant was built in 1955, on the Rio Casca,

Finally, in 1960, the construction of a thermonuclear power plant with a capacity of 10,000 kW will be completed in Areal, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Foreign trade. – In the period 1953-57, the average of imports was 59,733 million cruzeiros and that of exports of 49,933 million cruzeiros, with a deficit therefore reduced to only 10 million cruzeiros. In exports, the main item is still coffee, followed by cocoa, wood, manganese, iron ores; imports refer mainly to manufactured products, foodstuffs, wheat, coal. The United States is the country to which Brazilian trade is most active for both exports and imports; followed by Germany, Argentina, Great Britain, Sweden.

Communications. – The development of the Brazilian railway network in 1957 was 37,414 km, of which about 2,000 electrified. Numerous new lines have been built in recent years; in 1950 the 162 km long Caculé-Monte Azul line was inaugurated; in 1955 instead, that Corumbá-Santa Cruz, which allows direct communication with Bolivia. During the same period, the 1454 km long São Paulo-Porto Alegre line, the General Luz-Passo Fundo, the 450 km long Pucarana-Guaíra-Porto Mendes line were built. In 1956 the Serra do Navio-Santana line, 195 km long, came into operation, intended to facilitate the transport of manganese minerals to the export port (Porto Macapá) and which will be able to transport even 600-800 thousand tons per year of mineral. In relation to the Inauguration of the new capital, work has begun on the construction of the Brasilia-Piraporá railway, over 300 km long. Work is also planned for the construction of other railway sections for about 2000 km.

In 1956 the road network was 467,448 km, of which 4260 were asphalted or with metallic pavement; approximately 75,000 km are regularly serviced and are always passable. In 1957 another 2017 km of roads were built and 1136 km of the existing ones were paved. Motor vehicle traffic in 1957 was. of 754,405 units.

The merchant navy in 1950 amounted to 700,000 tons of gross tonnage, which had risen to 800,000 tons in 1956, and to 891,000 tons in 1957, with a number of 398 ships. The oil tankers, as already mentioned, are currently 31.

Air services are of great importance in Brazil, which greatly increased after the Second World War. In 1956 there were 344 airports, with a movement of 2,805,097 passengers entering and 2,786,138 exiting; 300 appliances in service, distributed in 26 companies. It should therefore be remembered that today the Brazil in internal aeronavigation occupies the second place in the world for the overall length of the routes (flown in 1956, 149,475,691 km) and for the intensity of traffic.

Brazil Economic Conditions in the 1950's 2