Brazil and Argentina stumble into new difficulties.
This week the Chinese and Brazilian central banks finally signed a $30bn currency swap that should facilitate trade between the two countries. But the trade link has faltered, as has Brazil's exporting prowess.
Meat exports have held up fairly well in 2012, but accessing new markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East remains key.
Reports by the WTO and OECD add ammunition to the debate in Brazil over trade barriers.
The Rousseff administration and leading Brazilian exporters are consolidating the work of the previous decade, with consumer companies well placed to benefit from markets in Africa and the Middle East.
For all its recent dynamism and glitter, Brazil’s economy is still full of distortions, none more glaring than the contrast between buoyant consumerism and stagnant industry.
The weaker exchange rate has done little for the industrial outlook.
South American trade negotiations still need plenty of work, but some companies are slowly going regional.
Unemployment data could show incipient cooling in the labour market. President Rousseff is set to meet regional leaders.
... yet the government's "Argentine-style" protectionism comes under fire