LONDON – Lubricant demand in South America is at last growing and by 2007 the regions need will pass 2.5 million tons per year, from about 2.3 million metric tons in 2003, predicts an official with Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. That may not sound like much, but after more than six stagnant years, its a cause for celebration.
Political and social tumult certainly have cast a shadow over the regions industrial progress, but there are signs of recovery, says Renato Marques de Oliveira, lubricant coordinator for Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro. Overall economic growth was 5.5 percent last year, the second consecutive year of growth. Inflation abated to 7.5 percent, unemployment fell to 10 percent, exports rose.
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