Brazilians take more local flavors as holiday meal for rising dollars

Global Business

Brazil’s traditional Christmas dinner is not exactly tropical. With centuries of immigration from Europe, the holiday meal has plenty of imported foods but many will opt for national flavors as the U.S. dollar keeps rising. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilians take more local flavors as holiday meal for rising dollars

Brazil’s traditional Christmas dinner is not exactly tropical. With centuries of immigration from Europe, the holiday meal has plenty of imported foods but many will opt for national flavors as the U.S. dollar keeps rising. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

Imported nuts, dry fruit, codfish, wines and champagnes, among other goods are part of the holiday meal. But this year, consumers might need to replace them with local products.

The U.S. dollar hit its highest level against the Brazilian real in nine years in November and has directly affected Brazil’s imports that already suffer from high taxes. For example, the fine Chilean red wine costs the equivalent of $100 but shop owners said it should be 25 percent more expensive. However, they have decided to keep the old prices to please Christmas shoppers.

Andre Pedrosa manages a new high end delicatessen in Rio de Janeiro and is feeling the pressure from the dollar hike and import duties.

“This end of the year is crucial for us and we have decided not to pass prices rises to consumers to consolidate our brand,” Pedrosa said.

Economist Andre Braz explained that the dollar surge ahead of Christmas is due to persistent uncertainty regarding Brazil’s economic performance.

“If there doubts about the recovery of Brazil’s economy, investments migrate to the rest of the world and the available dollars are scarce in the economy. So, until the country doesn’t recover its credibility we will see a high value of the dollar,” Braz said.

It may not be the best news for Brazilians dreaming of a lavish Christmas dinner full of tempting imported flavor but it could make revive the country’s vibrant local food.