Brazil’s trade surplus fell 44% in the first half of 2010 from the same period a year ago as domestic growth boosted imports of consumer goods and exports missed estimates, the Trade Ministry said.
The trade surplus narrowed to 7.9 billion US dollars in the first half, down from 13.9 billion in the same period a year ago, the ministry said. Imports rose 43.9% to 81.3 billion, while exports grew 26.5% to 89.2 billion.
Brazil posted a 2.28 billion trade surplus in June, 50% less than in June last year, as imports rose more than exports, the ministry said.
Imports of consumer goods rose 49% in the first half of the year to 13.8 billion, from 9.17 billion a year ago, Fabio Faria, deputy trade Secretary, told reporters in Brasilia today. The jump was sustained by an “accelerated” growth of Brazil’s gross domestic product.
Higher commodity prices led the government last month to raise its estimate for exports to 180 billion this year, up from 168 billion.
Latin America’s largest economy may expand 7.3% this year, the fastest growth in more than two decades, after growing 9% in the first quarter, the central bank said in its quarterly inflation report. Faster growth may stoke inflation above the government’s 4.5% target until the second quarter of 2012, the bank said.
Domestic demand in Brazil may boost imports by 27.8% this year, up from a previous forecast of 20.4%, while exports may rise 12.6% up from a previous 12% forecast, and the trade surplus may fall to 13 billion USD this year, down from 25.3 billion in 2009, according to the Central bank.
Brazil had foreign sales of 17.1 billion in June and bought 14.8 billion from abroad, the Trade Ministry said. Sales to China, Brazil’s top trade partner, declined 2.9% in June to 2.82 billion. Brazil’s surplus with China shrank 40.6% this year to 2.71 billion in the first half, after imports from China jumped 57.7%.
Brazil’s exports to the US expanded 22.3% in the first half to 9.01 billion, while imports rose 23.2%, to 12.2 billion, the ministry said.