Brazil’s Trade Surplus Keeps Shrinking Due to Growing Imports

Brazilian imports The Brazilian balance of trade is running a surplus (exports minus imports) of US$ 13,339 billion up until the third week this month, 41.8% lower than recorded in the same period of 2007 (US$ 22.934 billion).

In the accumulated result for the year, exports total US$ 102.489 billion and imports, US$ 89.150 billion.

The reason for the reduction in the trade surplus is the expansion of imports at a faster pace than that of exports. The cheaper dollar and the increased income of Brazilians favor product imports. Besides, companies import machinery and equipment to invest in production.

In July, taking into account the trade surplus of US$ 459 million posted in the third week of the month, the surplus is now US$ 1.989 billion. In the third week, foreign sales reached US$ 4.362 billion and purchases, US$ 3.903 billion. In the month, so far, exports total 11.844 billion and imports, US$ 9.855 billion.

Record Agribusiness Exports

Brazilian agribusiness exports broke records and reached US$ 33.8 billion in the first half of the year, an increase of 16.3% over the same period in 2007. In June alone, foreign sales totaled US$ 6.5 billion, the largest value registered in the month.

Powered by fertilizer and animal feed prices, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of agribusiness registered growth of 3.83% over the first four months of the year. The figures were disclosed today (17) by the National Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA).

Inputs alone grew 7.7% from January to April, whereas some agricultural prices presented slight deceleration. According to the CNA, agribusiness growth in 2008 is not being translated into better revenues for producers. The reason, according to the organization, is the price increase of inputs, including fertilizers.

Grain Production

The global production of grain grew 2.8% this year, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), disclosed on the site of the United Nations in Brazil.

According to the FAO, production should exceed demand. The greatest growth should take place in wheat, as, according to the organization, all producer regions in the world have expanded their crops.

However, the FAO believes that international grain prices should continue high due to the strong corn demand in the United States. Global exports of corn, according to the organization, reached record volumes some weeks ago and have doubled when compared to last year.

In South America, the corn harvest has not finished yet, but record volumes are expected. This is because the region has broadly expanded its corn crops due to the high price of corn on the global market.

Brazil should pick a record crop this year, of 142.2 million tons, according to the National Food Supply Company (Conab). It should be 8.1% greater than last year's crop. The corn cropland in the country grew 2.1% in the period, expansion of 958,200 hectares.



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