Brazil sees record trade surplus of $8.9 bi in September

Lower fuel imports and grain harvest boosted results

Published on 03/10/2023 - 11:25 By Wellton Máximo - Brasília

Benefiting from a decline in fuel imports and a record grain harvest, the balance of trade—the difference between exports and imports—closed out September at a positive $8.904 billion, the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services announced Monday (Oct. 2). The result is the best for September and is up 51.2 percent from the same month last year.

Following September’s result, Brazil’s trade balance closed out the first nine months of the year with an accumulated surplus of $71.309 billion—the highest result for the period since the current time series began in 1989.

Compared to the monthly result, exports were on the rise, while imports plummeted in September. Last month, Brazil sold $28.431 billion abroad, up 4.4 percent against the same month in 2022. Purchases from abroad totaled $19.527 billion, down 17.6 percent.

On the export side, the record grain harvest and the surge in oil production offset the global shrinkage in the price of some commodities. On the import side, the fall in the price of oil and its products was the main reason behind the downturn.

Last month, the volume of goods exported rose 7.2 percent, whereas prices sank 7.4 percent on average compared to the same month last year. As for imports, the quantity bought fell by 8.7 percent and average prices went down 14.5 percent.

Estimates

Despite the devaluation of commodities, the government has slightly revised its trade surplus projection upwards. For 2023, the government predicts a positive balance of $93 billion, against the previous projection of $84.7 billion made in July.

According to the ministry, exports should remain stable in 2023, rising just 0.02 percent and ending the year at $334.2 billion. Estimates are updated every three months. Imports are likely to fall by 11.5 percent and to end the year at $241.1 billion.

The forecasts are much more optimistic than those of the financial market. The Focus readout, a survey of market analysts published every week by the Central Bank, estimates a surplus of $72.1 billion this year.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Aline Leal

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