Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras exported in December 2008 an average of 620,000 barrels of crude per day, establishing a new record. "The new record was 46,000 barrels per day more than the previous one set in October 2008 and which totaled 574,000 barrels per day," Petrobras said in a release.
Though state-controlled, Petrobras is a public company whose shares trade on the São Paulo, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires stock exchanges.
December's oil exports contributed US$ 574 million to Brazil's trade balance, the company said. The main destination of Petrobras exports in December was the United States, with 63% of the total, followed by Europe with 21.4%.
Petrobras produced in November – the last month for which figures are available – an average of 1.84 million bpd, an increase of 4.6% over the same period in 2007.
The bulk of Petrobras' production is used in Brazil, which with 186 million inhabitants and a strong emerging economy is the world's 10th biggest consumer of energy.
Brazil's recent offshore discoveries of oil and gas along its southern coast, but at depths of over 5.000 meters and for which technology is still too expensive, could turn the country into one of the world's leading oil producers and exporters.
Brazilian farm exports totaled also a record US$ 71.9 billion in 2008, up 23% over 2007, according to the latest reports from the Ministry of Agriculture. Farm exports reported a surplus of US$ 60 billion last year while agrobusiness represented 36.3% of all of the country's shipments.
"The good performance of exports in 2008 was a consequence of the increase in revenue originated in the sale of the main items of the sector's trade balance," said a release from the Brazilian Agriculture ministry.
The so called "soy complex" (oil plus beans) increased 58%; beef and other meats was up 29% and coffee, 22%. The soy complex leads exports with 18 billion US dollars followed by meats, 14.5 billion.
The Ministry also underlined the 80% revenue increase in dairy produce exports which climbed from 299 million US dollars to 541 million, given the huge surge in prices.