Exports from Brazil generated the second best result of the year in August, with sales of US$ 19.747 billion, against US$ 20.451 billion in the month before. In the daily average, the August sales were better than in July, but the previous month had two more working days, according to Welber Barral, Foreign Trade secretary at the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
According to him, exports from January to August totaled US$ 130.843 billion, with growth of 29.3% over the same period in 2007, "greater, therefore, than the global growth, 15.3% a year." He also pointed out, however, that in the accumulated result for the last 12 years, sales totaled US$ 189 billion, very close to the target for the year, of US$ 190 billion, which "should cause a revision of the target next month."
Barral said that "both exports and imports presented record evolution," and purchases of foreign products grew more and caused a lower trade balance surplus (exports minus imports). The balance for August, US$ 2.269 billion, was 35.92% lower than in August last year, and in the accumulated result for the year, the surplus totaled US$ 16.907 billion, reduction of 38.43% over the same period in 2007.
The Foreign Trade Secretary said that the he highlights in exports of manufactured products in August, when compared to the same month last year, were petrol (up 121.4%), ethyl alcohol (94.1% growth), aluminum oxides and hydroxides (74.2% expansion), tractors (a 48.2% rise) and aircraft (35.8%). With regard to partly manufactured products, the main highlights were in foreign sales of iron/steel products (231.7% growth), wrought iron (153.4% up), iron alloys (expansion of 76.3%) and soy oil (55.2%).
Among the basic products, the main increases were in the areas of copper ore (expansion 224.1%), crude oil (an increase of 144.1%), iron ore (growth of 110.1%), soy in grain (up 75.1%), chicken (69%), beef (49.3%), coffee in grain (30.7%), pork (29.4%) and soy chaff (23.5%).
Apart from growth of products that are traditional in the trade basket, Welber Barral pointed out, in the group of manufactured products, that "there has been significant expansion in items with small participation in the list of Brazilian sales abroad, which shows the continuation of the process of diversification of the Brazilian export basket." Among them, flexible pipes, caustic soda, oil residues like coke and bitumen, carbonates, yeast, vegetables and even flours and pork scratchings.
The secretary stated that "sales to all the main economic blocs grew," with special attention to Asia (76.3% growth), especially China, mainly due to iron ore, soy in grain, ironworks products, fuels and meats. There was also considerable growth to Africa (68%), with sales of petrol, sugar, meats, ores, machinery and equipment, Eastern Europe (52.4%), the Mercosur (40.9%) and the Middle East (31.7%).
The lowest growth rates were identified in areas more directly affected by the mortgage crisis. Sales to the European Union grew just 26% and to the United States 18.8%. However, the United States is still the main buyer (US$ 2.411 billion in the month), followed by China (US$ 1.972 billion), Argentina (US$ 1.694 billion), the Netherlands (US$ 995 million) and Germany (US$ 786 million).
Barral also pointed out that there was also expressive growth in exports to markets that are non-traditional buyers from Brazil, like Iceland, the Virgin Islands, Pakistan, Luxemburg, Zimbabwe and Chad, due to the foreign trade diversification effort.
Brazil recorded a trade surplus – positive export result – of US$ 16.907 billion in the first eight months this year. The value is 38.43% lower than recorded during the same period of last year (US$ 27.461 billion). The information was supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
From January to August, exports totaled US$ 130.843 billion and imports, US$ 113.936 billion. The reason for the reduction in the trade surplus is the depreciation of the dollar against the real (Brazilian currency) and the rising income, which encourages imports.
In August, the trade surplus reached US$ 2,269 billion, with exports of US$ 19.747 billion and imports of US$ 17.478 billion. In the last week of the month, the surplus stood at US$ 990 million, with exports of US$ 4.823 billion and imports of US$ 3.833 billion.