Brazil's trade balance for the first five months of the year accumulates a surplus of US$ 25.128 billion, it was reported Monday.
Despite the positive sign, these figures represent 6.4% less than from January to May last year (US$ 8.087 billion) and the lowest for the period since 2018.
Trade balance statistics are usually released on the first business day of each month. However, because of the strike of foreign trade analysts, the result was postponed to today, one day before the legal deadline of the tenth working day for disclosure.
Last month Brazil sold US$ 29.648 worth of goods billion abroad and bought US$ 24.704 billion. Both exports and imports set a record for the month of May since the beginning of the historical series in 1989. However, imports grew more than exports.
In May, the value of sales abroad rose 8% in relation to May last year. The value of imports increased 33.5% in the same comparison.
The appreciation of commodities (primary goods with an international quotation) contributed to the record exports but started to increase the value of imports. This is because the price of various goods that Brazil imports rose, even as the quantity purchased from abroad fell.
Last month, the volume of imported goods rose only 0.1%, while prices increased 35.7% on average compared to the same month last year. The products with the biggest impact on the trade balance were refined fuels, fertilizers, coal, crude oil, wheat, and rye. Even with the quantity purchased falling for most of these products, the value imported rose, due to the increased cost of these items.
In exports, the quantity sold fell 7.9%, pressured by the drop in shipments of grains and ores to China, which has some regions under lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Average prices rose 21.9%.
In April, the government had raised to US$ 111.6 billion the trade surplus projection for 2022 because of the appreciation of commodities.
Herlon Brandão, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Intelligence and Statistics, said the next estimate, to be released in July, may be revised downward because of the growth in imports. Given that imports have been growing above the rate of the last forecast, it is expected that it will be revised upwards. So, most probably, the next balance expectation will bring a lower value, yes, for the year, Brandão said.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)