Brazil's meat exports reached US$ 6.1 billion in the first seven months of this year. Foreign sales of the soy complex (chaff, oil and grain) totaled US$ 6.7 billion. Soy has been the main product in the Brazilian export basket since 1989, when the historical series was initiated. But meat sales are growing, and the product is on the verge of assuming the first position in the Brazilian foreign sales ranking.
The data were disclosed by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Supply. Agribusiness exports reached US$ 5.27 billion in June, a record high for the month.
Imports grew by 27.7% to reach US$ 727 million, and the trade balance recorded a surplus of US$ 4.545 billion. In the accumulated result for the year, agribusiness exports from Brazil stand at US$ 32 billion.
Meat sales totaled US$ 925 million last month. Raw chicken meat was the most sold among meats. Exports of forestry products, tobacco and its derivatives, coffee, cereals, flours, and preparations also had a positive influence on the trade balance performance in the month of July.
Sugar and alcohol exports recorded, respectively, 36.7% and 44.2% decreases, due to reductions in both price and amount exported.
In July, Brazilian exports broke a monthly record. Sales totaled US$ 14.12 billion. Imports also presented the best result since the figures started being recorded, at US$ 10.773 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$ 3.347 billion.
The trade balance result in July caused the government to increase its foreign trade forecasts for this year: from US$ 152 billion to US$ 155 billion.
The new target was disclosed by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. According to the Foreign Trade secretary at the ministry, Armando Meziat, the figure was changed as, in the accumulated result for the last 12 months, exports have already exceeded US$ 150 billion, which is very close to the former target for this year.
"As the growth of sales is a little greater than expected, it was natural for us to increase the target a little," he explained.
The previous forecast was for 10.0% growth in Brazilian foreign trade this year, but it has now been raised to 12.5%. However, the forecast is still lower than the 17.2% registered from January to July this year, as against the same period last year. "The rhythm of growth of exports in the second half should be a little lower," explained Meziat.
From January to July, Brazil exported the equivalent to US$ 87.334 billion and imported US$ 63.349 billion, resulting in a trade balance surplus of US$ 23.985 billion. In the accumulated result for the last 12 months, the trade balance surplus has already reached US$ 45.23 billion, practically the same as the US$ 45.339 billion registered in the same period last year.