By Kristen Nozell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For numbers that have been consistently negative throughout the course of the year, new data released by the Institute of Studies for Industrial Development (IEDI) on Monday finally bears some good news for Brazil. As the IEDI reports, the country’s trade balance registered a surplus of US$1.85 billion in the first week of October, with US$6 billion in exports and US$4.21 billion in imports.
For the first time this year, the accumulated annual trade balance is in the black, with a surplus of US$246 million to date. This balance is the first surplus registered this year. An accumulated deficit of US$1.6 billion was reported at the close of September.
The reversal of the trade balance may not reflect a profound, large-scale economic shift, as IEDI reports that the surplus in largely in thanks to the export of an oil and gas rig, which boosted income by US$1.9 billion. Due to this large sale, financial inflow was 119.5 percent higher than at the same time last year.
However, exports across the board reflected some increases as well: sales of commodities rose by 24.2 percent compared to October 2012, with reported increases in exports of crude oil, soybeans, iron ore, beef and tobacco. Exports of semi-manufactured goods were unique in a decline, with a decrease of 25 percent. Imports also increased when compared to last year, with a daily average of US$1.054 billion representing a 15.3 percent increase over 2012.
The government expects to close the year with a surplus, as a drop in Brazilian oil production due to scheduled maintenance shutdowns meant that more oil was imported than usual over the course of the year. With these platforms now functioning, and with the boost provided by sale of the oil and gas rig, the government is optimistic that the momentum reported in the first week of October will carry through until the end of the year.
Brazil’s trade deficit closed the year 2012 with a trade surplus of US$19.45 billion, the lowest positive result in ten years. Brazil’s trade deficit widened to a historic high in the first seven months of 2013.
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