Brazil's trade balance showed a surplus of US$ 2.561 billion last year, according to the data released by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC). It was the lowest positive result registered since the year 2000.
The 2013 surplus was obtained entirely in December, since up to November the trade balance registered a deficit.
The sum is the result of Brazilian exports reaching a total of US$ 242.178 billion and imports worth US$ 239.617 billion. Sales to foreign markets registered US$ 957.2 million in average per working day, a drop by 1% in relation to 2012.
Purchases, on the other hand, had a daily average of US$ 947.1 million, an increase of 6.5%. The 2013 result was 86.8% below that registered in the previous year.
According to the MDIC, there was a decrease in shipments of both semi-manufactured goods (-8.3%) and basic goods (-1.2%), while manufactured goods showed an increase (1.8%).
In the first case, the greatest drops were in the sales of crude soy oil, iron and steel semi-manufactured goods, cast iron, crude aluminum, ferroalloys, semi-manufactured gold and crude sugar. There was, however, an increase in exports of copper cathodes, leathers and cellulose pulp.
Among basic goods, there was a reduction in exports of crude cotton, crude oil, coffee, pork and tobacco. However, sales of soy, copper ore, beef, corn, iron ore, poultry and soy chaff increased.
In manufactured goods, there was an increase in exports of oil platforms, cars, hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon products, tractors and cargo vehicles.
In the case of oil platforms, there was no effective exports, since the equipments were produced by Brazilian shipyards for the Brazilian state-owned Petrobras, but the transactions show up as foreign trade in the company's accounting.
According to the MDIC, there was a reduction in exports to Africa (-9.9%), United States (-8.2%), Middle East (-5.7%), East Europe (-4.2%) and European Union (-3.6%). On the other hand, there was an increase in sales to Latin America and Caribbean excluding the Mercosur (6.1%), to the Mercosur countries (5.2%) and Asia (2.3%).
The main countries importing Brazilian goods were, in this order, China, United States, Argentina, Netherlands and Japan.
Among imported goods, there was an increase in purchases of fuels and lubricants (13.8%), raw-materials and intermediate goods (5.8%), capital goods (5.4%) and consumer goods (3.2%).
The MDIC informed that there was an increase in imports among all economic blocs, with the exception of East Europe and the Middle East. The main suppliers for Brazil during the year were China, United States, Argentina, Germany and Nigeria.