Commodities to remain key determinant of Brazil real -researcher

Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 16 (Reuters) - The discovery of crude oil reserves off the Brazilian coast means commodity prices will continue to be one of the key determinants of the local exchange rate in the future, a central bank researcher said on Friday.

Emanuel Kohlscheen said during a presentation at a central bank seminar that a series of tests showed monetary policy had not had as big an influence on the real as previously thought.

He said the increase in the prices of a basket of 5 commodities, including ores, meat, soybeans, oil and sugar, were behind the sharp appreciation of the real between 2005 and 2011.

Other factors that explained currency movements in Brazil were global and country-specific risks. Although exports make up just over 10 percent of the Brazilian economy, the South American country is a major seller of iron ore, soy and corn.

"Surprisingly, interest rate differentials do not explain the appreciation of the currency during that time (2005 and 2011)," Kohlscheen said at the inflation-targeting seminar in Rio de Janeiro.

"Looking forward, the discovery of oil suggests that commodity prices will be an important factor in determining the exchange rate in Brazil."

Many economists believe the Brazilian central bank has allowed the real to appreciate this year to help it battle naggingly high inflation. A stronger real reduces the price of imports into Brazil.

Kohlscheen's findings were based on a paper in which he analysed data from 1999 through late-2012.

(Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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