Brazil’s trade surplus reached a record high for September, but failed to meet the expectations of economists, according to official data. The surplus of $8.9 billion was the highest for the month since 1989, but slightly below the median forecast of $9.2 billion in a Reuters poll. The Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services also revised its projection for the year-end surplus to $93 billion, up from $84.7 billion.
The strong performance of exports, which grew by 4.4% to $28.4 billion, was driven by higher volumes of key commodities such as crude oil, soybeans, iron ore, and corn. However, the prices of these products declined compared to last year, limiting the growth of export revenues. Imports, on the other hand, continued to fall, reaching $19.5 billion, down 17.6% from September 2022. This was attributed to lower prices and lower demand for foreign goods amid the economic crisis and the weak currency.
The trade surplus is one of the few bright spots in Brazil’s economy, which is struggling with high inflation, low growth, fiscal woes, and political uncertainty. The surplus helps to reduce the current account deficit and support the exchange rate of the Brazilian real, which has depreciated by more than 6% against the US dollar this year. However, some analysts warn that the trade balance could deteriorate in the coming months as global demand slows down and domestic consumption picks up.