Brazil's manufacturing production accumulated 3.1% growth in the first eleven months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005, which happened to be exactly the same as 2005 over 2004, reported the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute, IBGE.
However expansion in the last twelve months to November was 3%, which is below the 3.5% of December 2004 to November 2005. But 2006 could close with an encouraging percentage since manufacturing is expected to recover strongly in the last quarter of the year, according to IBGE. Manufacturing in November expanded 0.8% over October and 4.2% over the same month in 2005, making it the second running month of strong recovery because October was up 1% over September. According to IBGE the November figure anticipates a "recovery of overall manufacturing". Of the 23 sub-sectors, 14 registered production advances between October and November, particularly oil refining, ethanol production which expanded 4.6% following a 9.5% contraction in the third quarter of 2006. Booming sectors include office equipment and computer industry with an average increase of 52.8% in the first eleven months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005. Iron and oil extraction also contributed with an average expansion of 7.3%. On the negative side, automobile manufacturing; basic metallurgy; perfumes, soaps and other cleansing produce and clothing which declined 1%, 0.7%; 1.4% and 2.1%. Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture also revealed that farm exports expanded 13.4% during 2006 totaling 49.4 billion US dollars, and in spite of an increase in imports, the surplus reached 42.7 billion US dollars. Soybeans, although having dropped 1.7% was the main Brazilian export commodity with 9.3 billion US dollars followed by beef and other meats which totaled 8.6 billion US dollars, up 5.5% and forestry, 7.8 billion, up 9.4%. Sugar and alcohol sales boomed 65.9% in 2006 and reached 7.7 billion US dollars, representing the main boost in farm exports. The European Union is Brazil's main trade partner in agriculture produce having purchased 15.5 billion US dollars, up 17.6% from 2005, followed by the U.S. with 7.7 billion; China, 3.8 billion and Russia, 3.1 billion.