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02/05/2017 - 18:26hs

Trade surplus a record for April

Exports exceeded imports by almost USD 7 billion, the highest such gap since April 1989. Foreign sales reached USD 17.686 billion, with foreign purchases amounting to USD 10.717 billion.

São Paulo – Brazil registered a USD 6.969 billion trade surplus in April, the best result for the month since record-keeping began in 1989. The number released by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services this Tuesday (2) exceeds the USD 4.862 billion surplus recorded in April 2016, which was the former all-time high.

Last month saw exports reach USD 17.686 billion, while imports amounted to USD 10.717 billion. Year-to-date through April, exports reached USD 68.149 billion with imports at USD 46.762 billion, and the resulting surplus at USD 21.387 billion.

The Ministry said exports averaged USD 982.6 million a day last month, up 27.8% from April 2016 and up 12.5% from March 2017. Sales went up across the board year-over-year, by 29.2% for basic goods, 27.5% for semi-finished goods, and 25.7% for finished goods.

Top-selling basic goods were iron ore, crude oil, copper ore, pork, soy beans and bran, coffee beans, raw cotton and poultry. Semi-finished goods exports were driven year raw soy oil, semi-finished iron/steel products, cast iron, raw sugar, timber, semi-finished gold, ferroalloys, and leather and hides.

Finished goods exports were driven by hydrocarbons, refined sugar, cargo vehicles, fuel oils, passenger cars, aircraft, tractors, earth-moving equipment, aluminum oxides/hydroxides, auto parts, pneumatics, flat-rolled products, vehicle motors and parts, flexible iron/steel tubes, and plastic polymers.

Average daily imports were up 13.3% in April from April 2016, to USD 595.4 million. Fuel and lubricant imports widened by 28.5%, with semi-finished goods exports climbing by 16.5% and finished goods exports going up 6.3%. Average daily capital goods imports were down 5.9% year-on-year.


Exports to the Middle East were up 42.8% year-on-year in April. According to the Ministry, exports increased for sugar, iron ore, maize, raw precious/semiprecious stones, livestock, coffee beans, paper and cardboard, lubricant oils, timber, knives/blades/shavers and scissors, chassis and motors, fresh grapes, cargo vehicles, and switchboards.

Year-to-date through April from the year-ago period, exports to the Middle East were up 22.8%, driven by products including iron ore, sugar, poultry and beef, cast iron pipes, soybeans, chassis and motors, coffee beans, precious/semiprecious stones, livestock, petcoke, aircraft, flat-rolled products, and tobacco leaves.

Imports slid by 16.7% year-on-year in April, due to weaker sales of natural gas, aircraft kerosene, fertilizers, raw aluminum, urea, insecticide, raw lead, potassium chloride, automatic machinery, phosphoric acid, and heterocyclic compounds.

Year-to-date through April, Middle East countries’ imports were up 1.5%, driven by raw oil, urea, fertilizers, potassium chloride, plastic polymers, semi-finished iron/steel, aircraft parts and pieces, acyclic alcohols, aluminum alloys, medication, non-woven fabrics and tobacco leaves.

*With information from the ANBA Newsroom. Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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