- POSTED: 03 Jan 2014 06:00
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Brazil posted its lowest trade surplus in 13 years on Thursday, at US$2.56 billion for 2013, the trade and commerce ministry said, citing rising imports.
BRASILIA: Brazil posted its lowest trade surplus in 13 years on Thursday, at US$2.56 billion for 2013, the trade and commerce ministry said, citing rising imports.
The country's foreign trade association AEB had previously warned that 2013 could see the first full-year trade deficit since 2000.
Brazil avoided that scenario -- but the surplus still slid 86.8 per cent compared to 2012, even if the performance surpassed market expectations of US$1.2 billion.
Exports were off just 0.1 per cent at US$242.2 billion on 2012 -- but imports soared 7.3 per cent year-on-year to US$239.6 billion.
Despite worries of a potential slide in demand from China, the Asian giant remains by far the biggest market for Brazilian produce, accounting for a US$46 billion share -- the United States lagging well behind with a $24 billion share.
Since 2000, Brazilian exports to China of products such as copper, soy and cellulose have increased around eightfold and the Chinese now have a total share of some 18 per cent.
Exports to Asia as a whole rose last year by 2.3 per cent but the increase to China was 10.8 per cent.
Exports to Africa were off by contrast 9.9 per cent, fell 8.2 per cent to the United States and dropped by 3.6 per cent to the European Union.
Imports from Western Europe slid 13.1 per cent but imports from Africa rose 21.3 per cent and 10.4 percent from the United States.