In Brazil, there is a normal, seasonal drop in exports at the beginning of the year. For example, the trade surplus in December 2005 was US$ 4.346 billion, compared to US$ 2.183 billion in January 2005.
So, although exports during the first week of January were down 14.2% compared to the first week in December, Brazil still exported a total of US$ 2.124 billion in goods during the first five days of January 2006, an increase of 19.8% over the first week of 2005.
The rhythm of foreign trade remains strong at the beginning of 2006. The daily average value of exports is running at US$ 424.8 million, and imports at US$ 275.8 million.
During the first week of January 2006 the trade surplus was US$ 745 million.
Cell phones and vehicles lead manufactured sector exports
According to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, the biggest growth in Brazilian exports last year was in manufactured goods.
Compared to 2004, exports of manufactured goods rose 23.5% in 2005, accounting for 54.9% of all exports, compared to 55.1% in 2004.
The total of exported industrialized goods (manufactured and semi-manufactured) rose to 68.6% of all exports, leaving raw materials to account for 29.3%.
Leading sector exports were cell phones (up 99.6%), cargo vehicles (50.4%), tractors (40.2%) and earth-moving equipment (37%). Also strong were refined sugar (36.7%) and autos (31.6%).
Exports of cell phones to the United States, which remains the biggest buyer of Brazilian goods, rose 180%, aircraft 246% and tractors 242%.
There was also a surge in manufactured goods exports to Argentina: cell phones up 176%, tractors up 194% and diesel motors up 415%. Sales of compact cars to Argentina also rose over 42%, while larger models were up 36.5%.