After Decades US Beaten by China as Brazil’s Main Export Destination

    Iron ore from Brazil

    Iron ore from Brazil Displacing the United States, China has become the main purchaser of Brazilian exports during the first quarter of this year  which held the position undisputed for decades, according to reports in the São Paulo press based on the latest statistics.

    According to the Foundation center for Foreign Trade Studies, Funcex, China leads the list of importers of Brazilian goods having increased 62.67% in value and 41.175 over the same period a year ago. This displaced the US as the main destination of Brazilian exports.

    "In the worst of worlds, we're a little better," said Miguel Daoud, chief economist from Global Financial Advisor, which specializes in Chinese trade. Beijing recently announced a US$ 600 billion stimulus plan to prop the economy and domestic demand.

    In the first quarter of this year China imported US$ 3.395 billion of Brazilian goods, according to the Development, Industry and Foreign Trade ministry. China concentrated 47% of all Brazilian exports to Asia and overtook Latinamerica as the block which most buys in Brazil.

    Welber Barral, Foreign Trade Secretary said that "exports to Asia are increasing in spite of the crisis. Except for Japan the Asian block has a huge trade potential to be exploited."

    Sectors most benefited with exports to China are commodities such as soybeans, cellulose, iron ore and oil which together they account for 76% of all Brazilian exports.

    The Chinese advance happens when Brazil suffered a 19% drop in exports during the first quarter compared to 2008, and a 21.6% fall in imports , although the trade balance advanced 9% to approximately 3 billion US dollars.



    • Show Comments (2)

    • Deb

      I thought this was going to happen sooner or later, because of the increasing population of China and the demand for extra sources from abroad. This are happy news for Brazil, in order for them not to be so dependent in US’ economy as they used to be.

    • Lloyd Cata

      Trade – East, West, North, Developing, and Domestic
      Balance is always preferable to instability. Economic strength through diversity in customers is very good for Brazil. This is no small achievement.Congratulations to Brazils diplomatic and trade organisations.

      There are however many hurdles to overcome in the trade arena; primarily Brazils bi-lateral agreements with its many neighbors in South America. These agreements are primary because they impact all the nations in the neighborhood. This was made very clearly and loudly at the latest Summit of the Americas. See how the US embargo on Cuba has impacted the entire diplomatic and trade relationships throughout the Americas. Since the relationships can no longer be based upon East-West political differences given that Washington does so much trade with non-democratic regimes. US business interests refused to be held hostage to political and ideological differences. It is not Cubans or so much Americans who are against the embargo, it is US agriculture and business interests who want to the embargo removed. Now only political considerations need to be addressed. Not a small problem given Obamas reluctance to confront his right-wing critics on the subject. He will let the business community lead on this issue giving the White House cover for the coming conservative backlash to opening the door to Cuba. These ‘purists’ still think still think trade with China has been a mistake.
      Obama cannot confront them directly on this issue, first because he has to give priority to his domestic agenda and he cannot jeopardise that agenda in the middle of an ideological fistfight over Cuba. This is a bigger battle than Iran for the White House. Nothing would give this Obama government a ‘leftist’ certification like normalising relations with Cuba. Once Obama’s domestic agenda is accomplished he will give Latin America priority attention both for practical and electoral reasons.
      Brazil would do well to prevent the corruption of these business interests with respect to foreign relations. If the foreign influence in the Brazilian economy is allowed, once again, to corrupt the political system then Brazil could find itself in the same position as the US with a trade policy based on an ideological purity making no economic sense. Brazil would do well to remember that some of its economic relationships with its neighbors are the product of past neo-colonialist policies and must be revised to accommodate present realities.

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