For the second consecutive year Brazil achieved a record trade surplus of US $ 67.001 billion in 2017, thanks to an increase in the volume and prices of its exports. Last year’s surplus surpassed 40.5% in 2016, according to official data released by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC).
The result was in line with the $ 66 billion projected by the market in the weekly survey conducted by the Central Bank and in the $ 65- $ 70 billion range envisaged by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC).
“Expectations for the markets were very high … and exports grew for the first time after five years,” said Minister Marcos Pereira, who heads the MDIC. “This shows a real recovery of the economy,” said Pereira.
He added that imports had their first expansion in three years in the heat of the improvement recorded by the Brazilian economy after leaving one of the worst recessions in its history.
The government expects the economy to expand by 1.1% in 2017 and 3% by 2018.
In December 2017, the balance had a surplus of 4.99 billion dollars (+ 13.2% year-on-year), which contributed to leave the previous record of 47.683 billion dollars in 2016.
Foreign sales totaled $ 217.7 billion in 2017, up 18.5 percent from $ 185.2 billion a year earlier, while imports amounted to $ 150.7 billion, up 10.5 percent from $ 137.5 billion a year earlier .
“It’s good for Brazil because it guarantees the entrance of dollars. We have a very good reserve mattress and it can increase,” said Raul Velloso, economic consultant and former secretary of economic affairs at the Ministry of Planning.
Brazil is an important player in the international market of soy, corn, iron ore, beef and poultry and has grown in the oil sector, which in 2016 and 2017 had its first positive annual balances in history.
In industrialized goods, performance is sustained in the sales of motor vehicles – with a strong concentration in Argentina – auto parts and refined sugar, among others.
The surpluses in the exchange with China and Argentina were engines of the trade balance of 2017. By 2018, both officials and economists expect a reduction in the trade balance.
“The expectation is a robust surplus of $ 50 billion and would be our second record because imports have grown more than exports,” said Foreign Trade Secretary Abrao Neto.
Margarida Gutierrez, an economist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, stood in the same line.
“The balance will decrease somewhat because imports are expected to grow at a faster rate of expansion of the economy. GDP will grow more strongly than in 2017 and this will boost all imports of capital goods, consumer goods and industrial inputs,” he said. said. “But it will not be a big fall.”