By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In figures released on Tuesday, November 1st, from January to October of this year, Brazil registered a US$38.5 billion trade surplus. According to Brazil’s Ministério da Indústria, Comércio Exterior e Serviços (Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services), the figure represents the largest trade surplus the country has ever recorded for the period and is more than three times larger the 2015 surplus for the same period.
The record-breaking trade surplus came amidst drops in both exports and imports compared to 2015. In the ten-month period, Brazil’s exports totaled US$153 billion, 5.1 percent lower than last year’s number. The country’s imports from January to October 2016 totaled US$114.6, also down 23.1 percent from 2015.
According to government reports, for 2016, Brazil expects to see a trade surplus in the US$45 to US$50 billion range. This amounts to more than double last year’s figure and could represent the largest annual trade surplus the country has ever seen. Brazil’s current highest annual trade surplus was seen in 2006, when the country registered a surplus of US$46.4 billion.
For the month of October alone, Brazil registered US$13.7 billion in exports, representing a 10.2 percent drop from October 2015. Brazilian imports for the month were US$11.4 billion, also down fifteen percent from last October. The resulting US$2.3 billion trade surplus for the month is the largest seen for an October since 2011.
However, the October 2016 trade surplus is lower than September’s recorded surplus of US$3.8 billion, representing a fall of 8.8 percent.