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EX-IM BANK FACILITATES US COTTON SALES TO BRAZIL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 22, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3206

A $30 million Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) insurance policy will enable US cotton producers to expand sales in the Brazilian market by strengthening their relationship with a leading Brazilian textile producer. The Ex-Im Bank Financial Institution Buyer Credit policy issued to Barclays Bank PLC, Miami, FL, supports Barclay's financing of US cotton purchases by Vicunha Nordeste S.A., Fortaleza, Brazil.

Five US exporters are involved in the transaction: Dunavant Enterprises, Inc., Memphis, TN; Reinhard, Paul Inc., Richardson, TX; Louis Dreyfus Corp., Wilton, CT; Hohenberg Bros Co., Cordova, TX; and Weil Brothers-Cotton Inc., Montgomery, AL.

These US companies are gaining a buyer that was not purchasing as much as it could from the United States, said Barclays Vice President Gustavo M. Rosas. We expect this transaction to be the beginning of substantially increased business from Vicunha Nordeste that will help sustain jobs at the US exporters.

Vicunha needed additional financing to support increased production in a market where access to capital market funds and bank financing is limited. Along with other Brazilian textile firms, the company has been modernizing to remain competitive in its domestic market and other Latin American markets. The Ex-Im Bank insurance contributes to Vicunha Nordeste's competitiveness by helping to control the cost of its cotton purchases and expanding its ability to buy on credit.

Under the Ex-Im Bank insurance policy, which has a $30 million liability limit, the US exporters can ship for 360 days from the effective date of the policy and Vicunha Nordeste's purchases are subject to 180-day repayment terms.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports, primarily to developing markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.