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Two very important cash crops are coffee and cacao, which is the source of cocoa, the base ingredient in chocolate. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee, and it used to be one of the largest exporters of cacao. South America’s temperate climates are home to a number of industrial crops and livestock. Corn is produced throughout the temperate climates, and soybeans have become an increasingly lucrative crop in the Pampas.
The Pampas’ vast, high-quality pastures are also the center of South America’s huge ranching industry. Brazil is the world’s third-largest beef exporter (behind only Australia and the United States). Argentina is also an important beef exporter.
Forestry is the management of trees and other vegetation in forests. It is a major economic activity for tropical South America, especially the Amazon River basin. Marine fisheries are the most important economic activity along South America’s Pacific coast.
The mining industry is one of South America’s most important economic engines. The continent contains about one-fifth of the world’s iron ore reserves. Iron and steel (an iron product) are used in construction and machinery throughout the world.
More than one-quarter of the world’s known copper reserves are in South America, mostly in Peru and Chile.
Other important metal deposits include tin, used to solder metallic surfaces; lead, used in construction, batteries, and bullets; and zinc, used as an anti-corrosion agent. Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia are major producers of tin. Lead and zinc deposits are found primarily in higher elevations of Peru, Bolivia, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina.
South America is home to some deposits of oil and natural gas, which are drilled for energy and fuel. Oil and gas extraction is the dominant industry of Venezuela, with major deposits found around Lake Maracaibo and the El Tigre region. The oil sector accounts for about one-third of Venezuela’s total gross domestic product (GDP).
Answer the following questions:
1. What regions does Latin America have?
2. What are the main countries of Latin America?
3. What are the mountains of Latin America?
4. What rivers and lakes do you know?
5. What are llanos and pampas?
6. What climate zones does Latin America occupy?
7. What resources does Latin America have?
8. What are the most significant features of Latin America?
Theme 10: European countries. General characteristic
1. General characteristic
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