Exports during the first week of February (four business days), were up 26.4% compared with January. Sales of basic products increased 42.7%, of manufactured products, 25.8%, and of semi-manufactured items, 23.4%.
Imports also increased in relation to January: fuels and lubrificants (83.5%), cereals and milled products (94.3%), fertilizers (16.8%), automobiles and car parts (16.3%), optical and medical instruments (16.2%), electric and electronic equipment (16.2%), and plastic materials (13.5%).
Compared with February, 2004, exports grew, on average, 43.2%, with a 49.2% increase in exports of manufactured products (chassis with engines, tractors, cargo vehicles, ethyl polymers, vehicle engines, pumps and compressors, plowing machines and equpment, transmission-reception equipment, passenger vehicles, autoparts, and footwear.
There was also a 40% increase in semi-manufactured goods (mainly raw aluminum, crude soy oil, artificial rubber, iron, steel, lumber, raw sugar, and skins and hides); and a 33.9% increase in basic commodities (especially raw cotton, chicken, beef, pork, iron ore, crude petroleum, soybeans, and corn kernels).
In terms of daily averages, imports rose 46.3% compared with February, 2004, with the biggest increases coming in the areas of purchases of fuel and lubrificants, steel products, plastics, organic and inorganic chemicals, optical and medical instruments, automobiles and auto parts, electric and electronic equipment, and mechanical tools.
So far in 2005 Brazil’s trade balance is US$ 2.783 billion, with US$ 9.264 billion in exports and US$ 6.481 billion in imports. The trade surplus in the first week of February was US$ 600 million, with US$ 1.820 billion in exports and US$ 1.220 billion in imports.
Translation: David Silberstein