Brazil Expecting Lower Surplus in 2006

    Brazil’s exports totaled US$ 2.1 billion in the third week of February, as against US$ 1.5 billion in imports. Since import growth was greater, the trade balance (exports minus imports) of US$ 600 million for the period between February 13 and 17 was lower than the previous week’s surplus of US$ 881 million.

    The most recent figures were announced Monday, February 20, by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade. They show that the cumulative surplus for the 13 business days so far this month stands at US$ 1.6 billion.

    There are still five business days left in the month, but projections indicate that the surplus for the month will be smaller than the US$ 2.7 billion registered over the same period last year.

    According to the Ministry’s department of foreign trade, exports since the beginning of the year amount to US$ 15.1 billion, while imports total US$ 10.6 billion, resulting in a surplus of US$ 4.5 billion, slightly higher than last year’s US$ 4.2 billion surplus for the same period.

    While exports are up 19.5% this year in comparison with 2005, imports have expanded 26.6%. This is part of the explanation for the lower forecast in Monday’s, February 20, edition of the Central Bank’s weekly Focus Bulletin.

    The market analysts polled by the bank now predict that this year’s surplus will come to around US$ 40 billion, compared with US$ 44.7 billion last year.

    Agência Brasil

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