By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The trade balance in Brazil closed the first semester of 2015 with a surplus of US$2.222 billion, according to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC). This is the first time the index registered a surplus since the first semester since 2012.
Among the items which helped Brazil export more than it imported was the shipment abroad of soybeans and an oil platform which was sent abroad to a Petrobras subsidiary.
In June, Brazil’s trade balance reversed the negative result seen in May (- US$2.305 billion) to register a surplus of US$4.527 billion. The June 2015 result was the best for the month since 2009.
Although both export and import revenues have declined since January, the latter has registered a steeper decline than the first. From January to June exports have declined by 14.7 percent, while imports have decreased by 18.5 percent, in their daily averages.
In mid-June, MDIC Minister Armando Monteiro told a group of Brazilian and U.S. business executives that he forecast Brazil trade balance for 2015 with a surplus between US$5 – US$8 billion.
Last week the government announced a National Export Plan to take advantage of the current favorable foreign exchange rate to increase export volumes of Brazilian products to those countries already buying from Brazil and enter new markets.
According to officials although Brazil is the seventh economy in the world it was placed 25th in the ranking of foreign trade volumes. In 2014 Brazil’s trade balance registered a deficit of US$3.930 billion, the worst result since 1998.