© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cranes are seen in the distance during a workers’ strike at Latin America’s biggest container port in Santos, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Fernando Donasci
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil posted a $62.3 billion trade surplus in 2022, official data showed on Monday, a record in the series started in 1989.
In December, the trade surplus was $4.8 billion, said the Development, Industry, Trade and Services ministry. That exceeded the $3 billion surplus forecast in a Reuters poll with economists.
The 2022 result were above the most recent expectations of the Jair Bolsonaro government, which in October had projected a trade surplus of $55.4 billion.
Total exports for the year also reached a record high of $335 billion, a 19.3% growth, helped by a boost in prices in the agriculture and livestock sector.
Imports, meanwhile, jumped 24.3% and were also record-breaking, at $272.7 billion.
Both ends of the trade flow were affected by a sharp increase in prices, which rose much higher than the volume of commercial transactions: 13.6% on average for exports and 23.4% in imports.
Higher prices of certain commodities also favored the country’s exports, as in the case of soybeans, which had a 20.8% increase in the value of exports in 2022, to $46.7 billion.
The value of shipments grew 39.5% to $42.7 billion.
Iron ore and concentrates exports, meanwhile, fell 35.3% in value to $28.9 billion, amid lower demand from China, whose economy slowed in 2022 as strict COVID-19 control measures affected activity.
In December alone, exports grew 14% compared with the previous year, to $26.6 billion. Imports reached $21.9 billion, or 12% above the last month of 2021.