The trade surplus of Brazil in 2009 was US$ 24.615 billion, the lowest since 2002 (US$ 13.13 billion) and the worst since Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been in office, according to the latest release from the Development, Trade and Industry ministry.
The surplus was actually 1.4% less than in 2008, but what was really significant was the contraction of Brazil’s overall foreign trade (exports plus imports) which in 2009 added up to US$ 279.889 billion, down 24.5% from the US$ 371 billion of 2008.
Exports in 2009 reached 152.252 billion USD (with a daily average of 609 million USD) which is 22.2% lower than in 2008 (782 million USD per day).
Imports on the other hand totaled 126.367 billion USD with a daily average of US$ 510 million, down 25.3% from the daily average of 2008, US$ 638 million.
In December 2009, the trade surplus was US$ 1.435 billion with exports totaling US$ 13.7 billion (daily average of US$ 623 million) which represents a 0.7% drop from the same month in 2008 (US$ 628 million) and 1.45 billion compared to November 2009 (US$ 632 million)
Imports in December added up to US$ 12.28 billion with a daily average of US$ 558,4 million, which represents a 6.8% increase over December 2008 (US$ 522 million) and a fall of 7.2% compared to November 2009 with US$ 601 million.
The 22.2% fall in exports in 2009 is the most pronounced since Brazil begun registering the evolution of the country’s foreign trade. Some significant figures on the past six decades show that exports plummeted 19.8% in 1952; 6.1% in 1999 and 8.6% in 1990. The three years coincide with domestic political upheavals.
The Ministry’s target for 2009 had been established at US$ 160 billion.
As to imports the 25.3% drop of last year was the worst since 1953 when they plummeted an extraordinary 33.5%.
Brazil’s central bank target for 2010 is exports totaling 170 billion USD and imports 155 billion with a trade surplus of 15 billion USD.