Brazil Trade Surplus Widens in November


Brazil's trade surplus widened in November as imports fell further than exports on a sharply weaker currency and lower oil prices, the trade ministry said on Monday.

Brazil posted a trade surplus of $1.61 billion in November after a $1.2 billion October surplus, government data showed, bringing to $22.43 billion the surplus for the year to date.

Imports eased 24.1 percent to $13.14 billion from $17.31 billion in October but were up 9.2 percent compared to the same time last year.

Brazil's real BRBY has lost more than 23 percent against the dollar as a global financial crisis pushed investors away from riskier emerging market assets. Earlier in the year a rise in the currency fueled a surge in imports.

Investors are watching Brazil's trade balance for signs sagging global commodity prices could sharply reduce exports. Brazil is a major exporter of iron ore and farm products such as coffee and sugar.

Exports last month fell 20.3 percent from October to $14.75 billion on lower iron ore sales abroad and the closure of the port of Itajai, used primarily by food processing companies. The port was closed because of floods in the south of Brazil.Exports in November 2007 reached $14.05 billion.

Brazil's trade balance is expected to close the year with a surplus of $23.6 billion, according to the latest central bank survey, having fallen in 2007 for the first time in seven years to $40.04 billion.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
12/1/2008 1:49:30 PM