Trade balance registers record surplus in May

01 de junho de 2016

São Paulo – Brazil’s trade balance registered in May the largest surplus for the month since records started being kept in 1989. It reached USD 6.437 billion, according to data released this Wednesday (1) by the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC). Last month, exports stood at USD 17.571 billion, or USD 836.7 million per business day, a decline of 0.2% over May 2015. Imports totaled USD 11.134 billion, or USD 530.2 million per business day, a decline of 24.3% in the same comparison.

Last month, there was a decline of 8% in exports of basic goods over May 2015, an increase of 9% in sales of semi-finished products and an increase of 8.9% in the shipments of finished products. Basic goods accounted for the largest share in the trade balance, followed by finished products in second and semi-finished products in third.

Among basic goods, the steepest drops occurred with exports of crude oil, coffee, tobacco, copper ore, salted meats, soy beans and soy bran.

Sales of semi-finished products went up driven by semi-finished gold products, raw aluminum, copper cathodes, crude soybean oil, raw sugar and sawn timber.

Shipments of finished products increased due to oil rigs, aircrafts, malleable iron/steel pipes, passenger cars, cargo vehicles, orange juice, polymers, earth-moving equipment, and aluminum oxide and hydroxides.

Among the buying markets, exports increase to Oceania, Asia and European Union. Sales to Africa declined 22.7% due to weaker sales of soy beans, sugar, beef and tractors. To the Middle East, shipments dropped 20.2% over May 2015, due especially to refined sugar, iron ore, soy bean bran, semi-finished gold, soy beans, livestock and poultry.

In contrast, there was a decline in imports of fuel and lubricants, consumer goods, capital goods and intermediate goods. All the regions sold less to Brazil in the period. Sales from Africa declined 31.4% due to crude oil. Meanwhile, the Middle East sold 26% less to Brazil due to aviation fuel and crude oil.


From January to May, Brazilian exports totaled USD 75.513 billion. They were 2.6% less as per the daily average of USD 720.7 million. Imports totaled USD 53.832 billion, or USD 527.8 million per business day, a decline of 30.8% in comparison to the same period of 2015. Exports of basic goods and semi-finished goods declined. Meanwhile, exports of finished products went up 0.6%.

Exports increased only to Asia. The Middle East imported 6.6% less up until May, due to weaker sales of iron ore, semi-finished gold, aluminum oxides and hydroxides and refined sugar. Sales to Africa were 5.3% weaker, due to soy beans, refined sugar and tractors.

Among the products imported by Brazil, there was a decline in purchases of fuels and lubricants, capital, intermediate and consumer goods.

Year-to-date, the trade balance registers a cumulative surplus of USD 19.681 billion. In the same period of 2015, the sector had a deficit of USD 2.301 billion.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani