July trade surplus the narrowest in nine years

Brazil ran a USD 2.3 billion surplus last month, the lowest for the month since 2010. Both exports and imports slid.

Agência Brasil

Brasília – Slumping exports of commodities, particularly oil and soy, drove Brazil’s trade balance to post its lowest surplus for a July in nine years. The month saw exports outpace imports by USD 2.293 billion, down 40.8% from July 2018. The result hadn’t been this low since July 2010.

Both exports and imports slowed. Exports dropped 14.8% in daily average numbers, to a monthlong total of USD 20.054 billion. Imports came out to USD 17.761 billion, down 8.9%.

The undersecretary for Foreign Trade Intelligence and Statistics at the  Ministry of Economy, Herlon Brandão (pictured), said much of the decline is owed to soy, whose exports grossed 34.6% less than in July 2018; and to oil, whose exports were down 61.2%. “These two items alone accounted for 57% of the drop in the surplus,” he said.

Regarding oil, Brandão said the global economic slowdown is driving down demand for fuels. As for soy, he explained that sanitary issues are causing China’s pork output to diminish, thereby impacting demand for Brazilian soy – which is used as pig feed.

However, exports declined across the board in July, including finished, semi-finished and basic goods.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil

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