Brazil ran a trade deficit of 1.17 billion last month, the largest shortfall for October in 16 years, the government said on Monday. Imports totaled 19.5bn, while exports amounted to 18.3bn, the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade said in a report.
September's trade deficit, 939 million dollars, was also the worst for the ninth month of the year since 1998. In October 2013 the deficit was 224 million dollars.
The cumulative trade deficit for the first 10 months of 2014 stands at 1.87 billion; however Latin America's largest economy generated a trade surplus during the 12 months that ended 31 October.
China was the largest customer for Brazilian exports in the first 10 months of 2014, with purchases worth 36.7 billion, followed by the United States, which bought 22.4 billion in goods from Brazil, and Argentina, 12.2 billion.
Exports of manufactured products, including processed agricultural items such as refined sugar, were down 10.1% in January-October compared with the same period last year.
Sales to Brazil's partners in the Mercosur trade bloc (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) declined 13.7 in the first 10 months of this year. Exports in October compared to a year ago were down 19.7%, while imports in the same month last year had reached 22.821bn dollars compared to the current 19.5bn dollars.
The fall in exports is attributed to a 30% drop in manufactured goods' sales; a 15.4% retraction is commodities and 1% in semi-manufactured. Less purchases of fuels and lubricants which dropped 36%; consumer goods, 14%; capital goods, 12% and a 9.3% fall in basic goods help to explain the weaker imports' bill.