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Business & Finance

Brazil posts $1.5bn trade surplus in March, smaller than expected

  • Exports in March totaled $24.5bn and imports were $23.0bn, the ministry said, adding that total trade flows of $47.5bn in the month were up almost 40% from a year earlier.
Published April 1, 2021 Updated April 2, 2021
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BRASILIA: Brazil posted a trade surplus of $1.5 billion in March, figures showed on Thursday, less than half the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a $3.1bn surplus and also sharply down from the $3.6bn surplus registered in the same month last year.

Exports in March totaled $24.5bn and imports were $23.0bn, the ministry said, adding that total trade flows of $47.5bn in the month were up almost 40% from a year earlier.

These figures mean Brazil's trade surplus in the first quarter of the year totaled $1.6bn, sharply down from the $4.5bn surplus a year ago as import growth outpaced export growth.

Exports in the January-March period totaled $55.6bn, up 17% on the year, while total imports of $54bn were 25% higher than a year ago, Economy Ministry figures showed.

With the exchange rate having slumped 30% last year and already down 8% in the first three months of this year, net trade is expected to make a positive contribution to economic growth this year.

The central bank last week revised up its 2021, trade surplus forecast to $70bn from $53bn, which would be an annual record.

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