Brazil Expecting US$ 10 Billion Drop in Trade Balance Surplus

    Iron ore in Brazil

    Iron ore in Brazil Brazil's trade balance surplus (the difference between exports and imports) has reached this year US$ 1.680 billion, with exports of US$ 16.061 billion and imports of US$ 14.381 billion, in 26 working days.

    The accumulated result this year is 52.9% greater than that registered up to the second week of February 2007 (US$ 3.569 billion). These figures were disclosed this Monday, February 11, by the Brazilian Ministry of Development Industry and Foreign Trade.

    In February, Brazilian exports totaled US$ 2.784 billion in four working days, a daily average of US$ 696 million. Imports reached US$ 2.048 billion, with a daily average of US$ 512 million.

    With this performance, the trade balance surplus (exports minus imports) registered a surplus of US$ 736 million (a daily average of US$ 184 million), in February.

    According to the Focus bulletin, disclosed by the Central Bank today, financial market analysts forecast that this year the trade balance should end the year at US$ 30 billion. Last year, the trade balance surplus totaled US$ 40 billion, with exports of US$ 160.6 billion and imports of US$ 120.6 billion.

    Record High January

    The Brazilian balance of trade surplus stood at US$ 944 million, on January this year, a value lower than recorded during the same period last year (US$ 2.516 billion) and in December 2007 (US$ 3.636 billion).

    During the 22 business days in January, Brazilian foreign sales reached US$ 13.277 billion, a 20% increase compared with January 2007 based on the average per business day, and imports totaled US$ 12.333 billion, a 45.6% growth based on the daily average. Average daily exports were US$ 603.5 million and imports were US$ 560.6 million.

    The values of exports, imports and bilateral trade (US$ 25.61 billion) were record highs for the month of January. There was an increase in shipments of basic goods (25%), manufactured goods (18.3%) and semi-manufactured goods (15.9%).

    In the case of basic goods, highlights were exports of tobacco leaves (100% expansions), soy grains (82%), chicken meat (61%), maize in grains (42.6%), bovine meat (40.4%), soy chaff (26.4%) and iron ore (11.1%).

    With regard to manufactured goods, highlights were fuel oils (growth of 586.3%), pumps and compressors (74%), gasoline (70.1%), cargo vehicles (63%), machinery and grading equipment (46%), and tires (41.4%). Highlights among semi-manufactured goods were iron alloys (growth of 136.6%), iron and steel semi-manufactured goods (78%) and pulp (35.9%).

    In terms of markets, there was an increase in sales to the remaining Mercosur countries (plus 56.7%), Africa (22.4%), Asia (21.3%), the European Union (20.6%), the Middle East (20%) and the United States (9.2%).

    There was also a growth in imports of all production categories, such as capital goods (56.9% increase), raw material and intermediate goods (52.7%), consumer goods (48.8%), and fuels and lubricants (8.7%).

    Among suppliers, imports grew from the following regions: the Middle East (plus 249.7%), Eastern Europe (76.2%), other Mercosur countries (71.6%), Asia (56.3%), the European Union (49.2%) and the United States (40.9%).

    In the 12-month period ending on January, the balance of trade surplus remained positive in US$ 38.456 billion, a value 16.6% lower than recorded in the period from February 2006 to January 2007 (US$ 46.137 billion).

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