Brazil's balance of trade surplus (exports minus imports) stood at US$ 944 million on January, a value lower than recorded during the same period last year (US$ 2.516 billion) and in December 2007 (US$ 3.636 billion). The figures were disclosed by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
During the 22 business days in the month, Brazilian foreign sales reached US$ 13.277 billion, a 20% increase compared with January 2007 based on the average per business day, and imports totalled US$ 12.333 billion, a 45.6% growth based on the daily average. Average daily exports were US$ 603.5 million and imports were US$ 560.6 million.
The values of exports, imports and bilateral trade (US$ 25.61 billion) were record highs for the month of January. There was an increase in shipments of basic goods (25%), manufactured goods (18.3%) and semi-manufactured goods (15.9%).
In the case of basic goods, highlights were exports of tobacco leaves (100% expansions), soy grains (82%), chicken meat (61%), corn in grains (42.6%), bovine meat (40.4%), soy chaff (26.4%) and iron ore (11.1%).
With regard to manufactured goods, highlights were fuel oils (growth of 586.3%), pumps and compressors (74%), gasoline (70.1%), cargo vehicles (63%), machinery and grading equipment (46%), and tires (41.4%). Highlights among semi-manufactured goods were iron alloys (growth of 136.6%), iron and steel semi-manufactured goods (78%) and pulp (35.9%).
In terms of markets, there was an increase in sales to the remaining Mercosur countries (plus 56.7%), Africa (22.4%), Asia (21.3%), the European Union (20.6%), the Middle East (20%) and the United States (9.2%).
There was also a growth in imports of all production categories, such as capital goods (56.9% increase), raw material and intermediate goods (52.7%), consumer goods (48.8%), and fuels and lubricants (8.7%).
Among suppliers, imports grew from the following regions: the Middle East (plus 249.7%), Eastern Europe (76.2%), other Mercosur countries (71.6%), Asia (56.3%), the European Union (49.2%) and the United States (40.9%).
In the fifth week of the month, the country exported US$ 2.419 billion and imported US$ 2.223 billion, resulting in a surplus of US$ 196 million.
In the 12-month period ending on January, the balance of trade surplus remained positive in US$ 38.456 billion, a value 16.6% lower than recorded in the period from February 2006 to January 2007 (US$ 46.137 billion).