Brazil obtained a record trade surplus of US$ 6,6 billion during the month of August, the highest for the month since 1989. However overall dropped with exports sliding 5.5% to US$ 17,741bn and imports, 25,1%, to US$ 11,133bn. In eight months the trade surplus reached US$ 36,594bn, the third-best historically in the last forty years.
The cumulative export total for the first eight months of 2020 was US$138.633 billion, a decrease of 6.6% in comparison with year-ago levels, while imports totaled US$102.039 billion, down 25.1%.
Most of the surplus increase in August is explained by the fall in imports from the mining industry, which dropped 59.51% year-on-year, and from the manufacturing industry, whose purchases from abroad shrank 23.78%. On the export side, manufactured goods sales fell 14.2%, and for the mining industry fell 8.6%. In contrast, agricultural exports rose by 32.64%.
Agricultural highlights include soybeans, with sales of US$443.3 million year-on-year and raw cotton with a US$80.9 million increase. In the mining industry, exports of iron ore fell by US$ 442 million compared to August last year, and crude petroleum oils suffered a decrease of US$451.6 million. In both cases, the drop is due to the negative variation in international prices compared to 2019, because the volumes shipped were stable regarding iron ore and for oil increased 21%.
In the manufacturing industry, the largest declines were recorded in exports of non-electric engines and machines (-US$187 million), cellulose (-US$157.8 million), and petroleum fuel oils (-US$152.6 million). In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Argentine situation, the main destination for Brazilian industrial exports, contributed to the result.
Finally according to the Focus bulletin, a weekly survey of financial institutions released by the Central Bank, market analysts predict a US$55 billion surplus for this year.