It was the lowest result since 2003 for the Brazilian balance of trade this past year. Brazil ran a surplus (exports minus imports) of only US$ 24.735 billion in 2008. While exports reached US$ 197.942 billion imports totaled US$ 173.207 billion, according to information supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
The surplus is 38.2% lower than recorded in the previous year, of US$ 40.032 billion, when Brazilian foreign sales totaled US$ 160.649 billion and imports stood at US$ 120.617 billion.
In December, Brazil recorded a trade surplus of US$ 2.301 billion, as a result of US$ 13.818 billion in exports and US$ 11.517 billion in imports.
The surplus in December was 36.8% lower than recorded during the same period of 2007, when the trade surplus was US$ 3.639 billion, and 42.7% higher than the result for November 2008 (US$ 1.613 billion).
According to the weekly survey of the Central Bank of Brazil with market analysts, the Brazilian trade surplus should decrease a little further in 2009, to reach US$ 15 billion. The Central Bank, in turn, estimates the surplus for the year at US$ 14 billion.