Brazil's Balance of Trade Reached $67 Billion Surplus in 2017
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Brazil's Balance of Trade Reached $67 Billion Surplus in 2017

 Brazil's Balance of Trade 2017

The recovery in commodity prices and a record crop led Brazil's Balance of Trade to achieve the biggest annual surplus ever.

Considering full 2017, the country's trade surplus widened 41 percent from 2016 to USD 67 billion. The Balance of Trade in Brazil averaged 801.87 USD Million from 1959 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 7661.35 USD Million in May of 2017 and a record low of -4066.52 USD Million in January of 2014. This is the best result since the beginning of Brazilian government's time series, in 1989. 

The positive balance meets the expectations of the Ministério da Indústria, Comércio Exterior e Serviços (Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services), which had projected a trade surplus between $ 65 billion and $ 70 billion for 2017.  In December alone, the trade surplus reached $ 4.99 billion.

In 2017, the country's exports surpassed imports. The country's exports reached $ 217.7 billion in 2017, an 18.5% increase over 2016, based on the daily average criterion. It was the first rise in five years.  It was not enough, however, to equal the record registered in 2011, when Brazilian exports reached $ 256 billion.

The economic rebound also led to a rise of the imports last year. The country imported $ 150.7 billion in 2017, a 10.5% increase over 2016 based on the daily average criterion. It was the first rise in three years.

Main export partners were China (USD 50.18 billion); the US (USD 26.9 billion); Argentina (USD 17.6 billion); Netherlands (USD 9.3 billion) and Japan (USD 5.3 billion). Imports came mainly from China (USD 27.9 billion); the US (USD 24.8 billion); Argentina (USD 9.4 billion); Germany (USD 9.4 billion) and South Korea (USD 5.3 billion).

The "China" Factor

China, which has been Brazil’s main trading partner for years after overtaking the United States, exported US$27.903 billion’s worth of goods to the country and imported goods worth US$50.18 billion, generating a surplus for Brazil of US$22.275 billion, according to figures released by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services.

Exports of Brazilian products to Chinese companies in 2017 showed year-on-year growth of 35.3% due to purchases of soybeans and soy oil, minerals, oil, beef, cellulose, hydrocarbons, alloys, animals, cotton, and aircraft.

Whereas, Brazilian companies, for their part, imported products worth 18% more than those registered in 2016, namely transmitter/receiver components and devices, printed circuits, flat laminates, semiconductor devices, automotive parts, integrated circuits, fertilizers, electromechanical and air conditioning equipment, automatic machines, pumps and compressors, and tires.

With reporting by Ministério da Indústria, Comércio Exterior e Serviços (Brazil), Agência Brasil, Trading Economis and MacauHub