Pelotas (pəlôˈtəsh) [key], city (1991 pop. 291,100), Rio Grande do Sul state, S Brazil, an inland port on the São Gonçalo canal. It is a major export point for the stock-raising region of S Rio Grande do Sul and is a transfer point for ocean-to-lake shipping. The city is Brazil's main producer of dried beef. Flour, rice, and leather products are also manufactured. Pelotas was settled in the late 18th cent. by colonists from the Azores. It expanded in the 19th cent. with the growth of the dried-beef industry. There are four universities in Pelotas.