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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The trade balance in Brazil set a record in 2016 registering a surplus US$47.69 billion, according to the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC). The surplus balance is the highest since the beginning of the historical series in 1989.

Brazil, Brasilia,MDIC Foreign Trade Secretary Abrão Neto during press conference on Monday, photo by Fabio Pozzebom
MDIC Foreign Trade Secretary Abrão Neto during press conference on Monday, photo by Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil.

According to official data for 2016 the value exported by Brazil totaled US$185.2 billion while the value imported by the country totaled US$137.5 billion. But despite the record surplus, the daily export average fell to US$738 million, a decrease by 3.5 percent in relation to 2015.

“The surplus is a result of better export performance compared to imports. Despite a fall in the total value of exports by 3.5 percent, there was an increase in the exports of processed products and also the quantities exported by Brazil,” explained MDIC Foreign Trade Secretary Abrão Neto during a press conference to announce the results.

According to Abrão Neto last year Brazil registered a record volume of exports in several important products including poultry and orange juice and pulp.

Exports of many industrialized and semi-manufactured products registered significant increases including that of semi-manufactured gold (31.1 percent) and lumber (17.4 percent), oil products (86.9 percent), passenger cars (38.2 percent), and even aircrafts (six percent).

The main destinations for Brazilian goods last year were China (US$37.4 billion), the United States (US$23.2 billion), Argentina (US$13.4 billion), the Netherlands, US$10.3 billion) and Germany (US$4.9 billion).

For imports, the daily average decreased to by 20.1 percent in relation to the previous year, with declines in fuels and lubricants (-43.1 percent), capital goods (-21.5 percent), consumer goods (-19.3 percent) and intermediate goods (-14.9 percent). The main importers to Brazil were China (US$23.83 billion), the United States (US$23.80 billion), Germany (US$9.13 billion), Argentina (US$9.08 billion) and South Korea (US$5.4 billion).

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