Brazil posted a trade surplus of US$ 3.28 billion last month, the widest surplus for August since 2017 and almost 20% wider than the US$ 2.28 billion surplus in August last year, the Economy Ministry said.
Exports fell 8.4% from a year ago to US$ 18.85 billion in August, while imports slumped 13.3% to US$ 15.57 billion, reflecting a broad slowdown in cross-border trade as global growth slowed over the year.
A surprisingly weak domestic economy - it has essentially stagnated this year - curbed imports, while exports were hit by declining orders and prices of soy, and weaker auto demand from crisis-hit neighbor and third largest trading partner Argentina.
So far this year, Brazil has chalked up a trade surplus of US$ 31.76 billion. That’s down 13.4% from the US$ 36.67 billion registered in the first eight months of last year, and all else being equal, is a drag on overall economic growth.
Economists and analysts surveyed in the central bank’s weekly ‘FOCUS’ polls project a trade surplus of US$ 52.35 billion this year, which would be around 10% lower than the US$ 58.0 billion surplus registered in 2018.
The Economy Ministry estimates a trade surplus of US$ 56.7 billion for this year, although that forecast made in July is expected to be revised next month.