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01/03/2018 - 18:12hs

Imports outgrow exports

Nonetheless, February’s trade surplus was a record. The performance was driven by the sale of an oil platform that, after all, stayed in the country.

São Paulo – Imports registered a sharper growth than exports in Brazil in the year’s first two months and in February. Foreign purchases totaled USD 12.408 billion last month, up 13.7% over February 2017, by the daily average, while foreign sales totaled USD 17.315 billion, up 11.9% in the same comparison. Nonetheless, there was a trade surplus of USD 4.907 billion, the highest for the month since the beginning of the historical series in 1989. The data was released this Thursday (1) by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC).

Ivan Bueno/Appa

Shipments of finished products went up

According to Agência Brasil, the surplus was impacted by the export of an oil platform, that, however, didn’t leave the country after all. The purchase was made by subsidiaries of Brazilian companies abroad and registered in Brazil as rented equipment. According to the news agency, it’s the so called “ficta export” (fictitious export), which, despite its name, it’s not illegal.

In the first two months, imports totaled USD 26.607 billion, up 15.1% in comparison to the same period of last year, by the daily average. Exports generated USD 34.283 billion, up 12.9%, resulting in a USD 7.676 billion, an increase of 5.6% in the same comparison.

In 2018’s first two months, Brazil increased imports of fuels and lubricants (43.6%), consumer goods (20.2%), capital goods (17.2%) and intermediary goods (8.4%). The country increased purchases from Central America and the Caribbean, Asia, European Union, Middle East, Mercosur, plus the United States.

Brazil’s purchases from the Middle East went up 10.9%. The increase was driven by items such as crude oil, natural gas, sulphur, polymers, fuel oils, aviation fuel, fertilizers and aluminum waste.

On the other hand, Brazil increased exports of finished products (32.9%), basic goods (1.4%) and semi-finished products (1.4). In the first group, in addition to the aforementioned oil platform, exports of cast iron tubes, earthmoving machinery, tractors, iron or steel malleable pipes, pumps and compressors, vehicle engines and its parts, auto parts, aluminum oxide and hydroxide, vehicles, paper, tires, polymers and fuel oils went up.

Among basic goods and semi-finished products, sales went up with raw cotton, maize, tobacco, beef, soy bran, copper ore, wood pulp, raw aluminum, cast iron, semi-finished gold products, sawn wood, iron or steel semi-finished products, crude soy bean oil and ferro-alloys.

Among destination markets, exports increased to the European Union, Central America and the Caribbean, Mercosur, United States, Oceania and Africa. For the Middle East, shipments declined 4.2% due to slower sales of sugar, poultry and beef, soy bean, cast iron pipes, aluminum oxides and hydroxide, coffee, iron ore, wheat and aircrafts.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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