Brazil Trade Surplus Widens 297% YoY
The trade surplus in Brazil rose to USD 4.76 billion in November of 2016, much higher than a USD 1.2 billion surplus a year earlier. It is the wider surplus for a November month on record and better than market expectations of a USD 3 billion. Exports recorded the biggest gain in six years while imports continued to contract. The country has been reporting trade surpluses since March last year, as a weaker real weighed down on imports but failed to boost exports.
Exports rose 17.5 percent year-on-year to USD 16.22 billion, the first anual rise in three months and the biggest gain since November of 2011. A weaker real has failed to boost sales due to lower international prices for the country's main export commodities, including soybeans, iron, oil, sugar and coffee. Yet, shipments remain around 38 percent lower than a record high reached in August of 2011. Commodities account for nearly 50 percent of total sales.
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Imports slumped 9.1 percent year-on-year to USD 11.46 billion. Purchases have been falling systematically since 2014 due to a slump in the real and lower internal demand amid a severe recession. Imports fell in all months since March 2014 except in August this year (+0.4 percent year-on-year) and in September of 2014 (+9 percent year-on-year), remaining around 50 percent lower than a record high reached in October of 2013.
Considering the first eleven months of the year, exports declined 3.3 percent over a year earlier to USD 169.3 billion. Sales declined mainly for coffee (-15.9 percent); oil (-14.3 percent); soybean meal (-11.7 percent); corn (-11.1 percent); iron (-10.4 percent) and copper (-8.4 percent) but increased for platforms for oil extraction (222.7 percent); passenger cars (38.2 percent); refined sugar (22.7 percent) and airplanes (14.7 percent). Imports fell at a faster 22 percent to USD 126 billion, due to declines in purchases of fuels and lubricants (-44.9 percent); capital goods (-22 percent), consumption goods (-21.8 percent) and intermediate goods (-17.2 percent). As a result, the trade surplus increased to USD 43282 billion compared to a USD 13445 billion surplus a year earlier.