January 2, 2020 / 6:48 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil trade surplus shrinks 20% in 2019 to $46.67 bln, smallest in four years

(Adds details, context)

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Brazil's trade surplus shrank 20% to $46.67 billion last year, official data showed on Thursday, as upwardly revised exports in recent months failed to mask a widespread slump in overseas demand for Brazilian goods over the course of 2019.

The upward revisions to exports in the September-November period are likely to lift gross domestic product growth estimates for the last two quarters, but overall, the shrinking surplus will prove to be a drag on economic growth last year.

December's trade surplus was $5.6 billion, the economy ministry said, wider than the $4.35 median estimate in a Reuters poll of economists. Exports totaled $18.16 billion in the month and imports were $12.56 billion.

For 2019 as a whole, exports were $224 billion and imports were $177.3 billion, resulting in the surplus of $46.67 billion. In 2018, Latin America's largest economy posted a trade surplus of $58 billion.

The 2019 annual surplus was the smallest since $19.5 billion in 2015, amid one of the most severe recessions in Brazil's history. All else being equal, a narrowing trade surplus is a drag on overall economic growth.

Foreign demand for Brazilian products last year was hit by the slowest global growth in a decade, uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade dispute, and a wave of political and economic turmoil across Latin America.

Most notably, auto exports to Argentina plunged by more than 30%, and in October last year, the economy ministry slashed its 2019 trade surplus forecast to $41.8 billion from $56.7 billion previously.

Last month, the government revised up September-November exports by a combined $6.5 billion. Statistics agency IBGE's first official estimate of third quarter GDP growth was 0.6%, with net trade a drag on growth as exports fell 2.8% quarter on quarter.

IBGE will revise that and publish the new estimate along with fourth quarter data on March 4. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; editing by Diane Craft and Tom Brown)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below